Monday, January 7, 2013

Let them eat croissants

The prime minister's wife Rosmah Mansor commended the Roti 1Malaysia Charity Programme for being able to carry out its charity works without government assistance. The program is a private sector effort which collects surplus bread and pastries from five-star hotels for distribution to welfare homes, orphanages and other needy communities.

Then, just as quickly, Rosmah expressed her desire to see that this particular initiative be extended to Permata, a government-backed programme for early childhood education. Of course lah, she is the patron of Permata. She said that the Permata children should have the opportunity to consume 5-star bread and pastries, in particular identifying the croissants. “I don't think our children from the Permata centers have tasted croissants," she had remarked.

And sure enough, Roti 1Malaysia chairperson Anne Eu promptly responded by saying that her program officers will be sitting down with Permata officials to discuss Rosmah's wish. Aiyoh, there're always Malaysians who will not hesitate to prostrate, kowtow and even grovel before false idols such as Rosmah.  

This "Let them eat croissants" utterance reminds me of something similar that was attributed to Marie-Antoinette, the last queen of pre-revolutionary France. The wife of Louis XVI, whose sartorial excesses rankled while France's population starved, is famously (if erroneously) credited with saying "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" or "Let them eat cake" when asked what peasants who had no bread should do about their hunger. (Cake was of course more expensive than bread).

Rosmah should make sure the children have enough bread to eat first before worrying if they have tasted croissants before. BTW, Marie-Antoinette died at the guillotine.

Nicol David succesfully defended her World Series Squash Finals title with a dominating display in taming England's Laura Massaro – the player she had also defeated to clinch a seventh World Open last month – to win in straight games in London on Sunday.

David avenged an earlier preliminary round defeat to Massaro with a 11-3, 11-2, 11-9 win. Way to go, Nicol David!

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