- POSTED: 09 Jul 2014 15:50
- UPDATED: 09 Jul 2014 17:56
A member of the highest decision-making body of Malaysia's ruling party UMNO has sparked outrage on social media, after tweeting "Long live Hitler" in his excitement over Germany's 7-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup semi-final.
KUALA LUMPUR: Football and social media are two things that generate great emotion in Malaysia. So it is no surprise that in the weeks since the FIFA World Cup began, Facebook and Twitter have exploded with posts about the matches.
Even the nation's ministers have joined in the fun. Some posted photos of themselves looking sleep-deprived, after pulling all-nighters to catch their favourite teams in action.
(Translation: "I bumped into a brother who is a supporter of England before the Cabinet meeting this morning. I feel 'pity' looking at his face." - Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister)
However, one politician may have taken his passion a bit too far on social media. After watching Germany crush Brazil in the semi-finals, Bung Mokhtar Radin, a member of the ruling UMNO party's supreme council tweeted "Long live Hitler."
The post sparked a torrent of criticism from users upset that he had glorified the leader of Nazi Germany. Some called him "low-class" and "crazy", while others said the tweet was "distasteful."
Mr Bung, who once called for the Internet to be censored, has not taken kindly to the criticism and defended the statement as a "joke". He told Channel NewsAsia's Sumisha Naidu via Twitter that he was "referring to the strength of Germany's football team" and how they had "humiliated Brazil."
He also told one of his detractors to "get lost" and suggested another had mental problems. The German ambassador to Malaysia expressed disapproval for his tweet, releasing the following statement: "While we appreciate the admiration for the German football team, we strongly reject the unacceptable allusion to the fascist regime of Adolf Hitler"
This is not the first time Mr Bung has sparked controversy with his statements. In 2007, he caused outrage among women's groups after referring to an MP's menstruation cycle during a parliamentary debate. Just last month, a Malaysian student lodged a police report against Mr Bung, for allegedly racist remarks.