This is another incident that qualifies for Unspun’s shit-for-brains tag.

The story is about Indonesia’s intrepid traveling parliamentarians who belong to Commission VIII, the parliamentary commission in charge of religion, society and women’s empowerment.

Fuelled by taxpayer’s money the hardy lot of them fearlessly made their way to Melbourne, which the whole world knows is the seat of learning on all thing to do with religion, society and women’s empowerment. There, in the middle of activities that did not exclude the very empowering activity of shopping, they met, like all politicians would, students from back home.

One presumes they had a fruitful exchange and the students were enthralled enough, for one of them actually asked for the official email address of the Commission. Disaster!

The commission member chairing the meeting, Ahmad Zainuddin of the PKS, that party that works tirelessly toward the empowerment of women with one of their parliamentarians examining them in various states of undress during parliamentary sessions, was caught short. He did not know.

His colleague, the leather jacket-clad Zulkarneen Djabar from Golkar got into a virtual flap. Popping up and down from his seat and gesturing wildly he asked aides off-camera for the email address.

When an aide told them that it was komisi8@yahoo.com they asked “what?”, and when she repeated herself they asked her to repeat it again. Perhaps the parliamentarian himself could not believe that they did not have an official domain address but had to rely on the free services of Yahoo.

Nonetheless? the session, videotaped and posted on Youtube, is now making the rounds in Indonesia, eliciting a lot of mirth from everyone on the ingenuousness of the politicians of what is today is pretty basic knowledge about the internet and email.

It was bad enough if they admitted their ignorance but that is not the way of Indonesian politicians whose natural inclination is to become defensive when confronted with criticism.

Thanks to @TriYunita for pointing Unspun to the video

Hence Gerindra party lawmaker Edhy Prabowo mounted a spirited defense of his colleagues, saying that “lawmakers were not obliged to understand technology and the Internet even though it was necessary.” As reported in The Jakarta Globe:

“He said there should be an internal mechanism at the House to teach lawmakers about technology, rather than making fun of them.

“We disagree that the video was uploaded in Youtube. We don’t like it, whatever it is, we must not humiliate one another. They are students. If there are lawmakers who don’t understand email, don’t blame them,” Edhy was quoted as saying by Kompas.com.

This is all very obscure logic.

is it a wonder at all that parliamentarians here are held up to ridicule all the time? And what happens to Religion, Society and Women’s Empowerment in the meantime?

Thanks to