What the heck is Rafizi moonlighting as a podcaster?

KHAIRY Jamaluddin has a podcast. That is fine. He is not a minister. He is not a MP. Heck, he is not even a member of a political party. He is basically a private citizen and a private citizen can do whatever they want to do within the ambit of the law.

On the other hand, Rafizi Ramli is an MP and a minister. He actually has an important job to do. So, what the heck is he doing moonlighting as a podcaster?

Rafizi can say that hey, he is not using a single sen of the taxpayer’s money. His podcast is funding itself. But what about the salary he is already receiving to do his job as a MP and a minister?

How can we expect him to pay attention to his job when he is telling us that while he is serving as a minister, he is also directing his attention to do other things like moonlight as a podcaster?

Can anybody who works in the government do what Rafizi is intending to do? If tomorrow, the IGP (inspector-general of police) also decides to start a podcast which is not sanctioned by the force – to roast critics who criticise him or the force – is this OK?

There is also money involved in running a podcast. When you create a podcast, you are creating content which could create a lucrative income. What is Rafizi going to do with this money which he got by piggy-backing on his job as a minister?

Is he going to donate it all to charity? I know that politicians and civil servants sometimes do occasionally set themselves up with the private sector while they are on the job so that when they retire from public service, they will have a cushy job at the private sector waiting for them.

But this is the first time I am hearing of a minister going all-out to set himself up for a stint at the private sector while still working in the public sector. Is this going to be a new normal?

And what exactly is the point of having a podcast where the objective is to get members of the public, academics and opposition cybertroopers who “wish to roast” a minister to appear on the podcast.

A NATO (no action, talk only) case

Will anything happen after a cybertrooper, members of the public or academics roast Rafizi or after Rafizi roasts them? Will anything change if a someone appears on Rafizi’s podcast and roasts Rafizi by saying that they feel that he is not doing a job – and Rafizi roasts them back by saying they don’t know what they are talking about?

Will the price of goods become cheaper? Will people wake up the next day and suddenly realise that they now have more options to forward their careers? Will young people be able to afford buying a house?

If not, what is the point of all this?

Are we supposed to just be satisfied with seeing a minister and his critic roasting each other on a podcast? I can understand why our politicians might sometimes feel the need to apply the “bread and circus” method to govern the country but all I see here is just the circus. Where is the bread?

A minister is an executive position. When people tell you a problem, we don’t expect you to appear on a podcast to explain to us the nature of the problem but we expect you to answer us through action – not just words.

Even if you manage to prove to the world through your podcast that you are the smartest guy in the country and nobody – be it a critic, an academic or a cybertrooper – can hold a candle to you, so what? Is the problem settled?

I actually think that it might not be a bad idea for Rafizi to be a podcaster. I have long felt that the job of a man of action is not one that is fitting for Rafizi. He takes too much delight in concepts, formulas and ideas to be an effective man of action.

Criticism levelled at him by opposition-slant cybertroopers have inspired Economy Minister and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli to start his own podcast as an avenue to respond with valid answers

I have always felt that we would all be better off if he takes a position as a professor or an ideologue or a speaker or a podcaster where he can spend all his time, focus and energy telling us what he knows without us having to expect him to do anything about it.

In fact, he could he perhaps do it on a full-time basis instead of moonlighting as a podcaster. One must prepare, allocate time and do the necessary research in order to do it well. If Rafizi has time to do all that while working as a full-time minister, then he will be unable to pay enough attention to his job as a minister.

So rather than perform half-heartedly as a minister and a podcaster, why not just pick one and do it properly? Why not be a full-time podcaster who can devote all his time and energy to research and prepare for his podcasts properly?

In so doing, let us have another Economy Minister who will take action when we tell him a problem instead of just giving us an explanation – or worse – ‘burn’ the person who brings up the matter to his attention. – Dec 20, 2023


Nehru Sathiamoorthy is a roving tutor who loves politics, philosophy and psychology.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Pics credit: Rafizi Ramli’s Facebook

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