Defence Minister’s COVID-broadcast turns into live auction as Malaysians ‘bid’ for stuff

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaking during his live broadcast on Tuesday, at left, and a screenshot of viewers ‘bidding.’ Photos: Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Saiful Rodzali/ Facebook
Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaking during his live broadcast on Tuesday, at left, and a screenshot of viewers ‘bidding.’ Photos: Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Saiful Rodzali/ Facebook

Who knew that Malaysia’s daily COVID-19 broadcasts could help us sit back, relax, and laugh out loud at the end of a hard day’s work. 

Thousands of Malaysians have been tuning in to Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s daily pandemic address, which goes on air around 5pm each day, for jokes courtesy of online commenters pretending to “bid” for the minister’s personal items on display in the background, which include a helmet, a traditional Malay dagger, and even a basketball. 

Those who tuned in this week took the liberty to “lock” in on some of the items they wanted from Ismail’s home, even stating the amount they would pay for it. 

“Up lock helmet 550,” one person wrote. 

“Lawa (Nice) tupperware .. Locked,” said another. 

Ismail, 60, began delivering COVID-19 updates from his home on Oct. 5 after he was ordered two-week isolation upon returning to Kuala Lumpur from coronavirus-ravaged Sabah. He is expected to come out of isolation Monday. 

The minister is well aware of people poking fun at his daily COVID-19 address and had thanked viewers for liking his things. 

Pak Long has read the comments after the live press conference regarding COVID-19,” he wrote online yesterday, using the nickname citizens gave him at the start of his tenure in March. 

“Many bid for my shirt and decorations in the background, like my helmet, tengkolok (traditional Malay headgear) and other things. Thank you all, and please stay safe,” he said.

Other things people had picked also include the minister’s spectacles and his shirt. Some even told him to step aside so they could have a better view of his things. 

“Please step aside sir, I want to see more of your stuff,” Facebook user Hanis Nonie wrote during Tuesday’s broadcast.

Comments during Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s COVID-19 address on Tuesday. Photo: Saiful Rodzali/ Facebook
Comments during Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s COVID-19 address on Tuesday. Photo: Saiful Rodzali/ Facebook

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