Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sexist Fools

I must apologise to my sisters (in and out of blogosphere) for not posting anything on the issue of the offensive and appalling remarks uttered by two backbenchers (Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof and Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokthar Radin) in the Dewan Rakyat last week.
I meant to, but somehow, I never did, although it was a hot topic of discussion at the dinner table at home and with friends (males, included).
Perhaps, it was because we had been discussing it at length (not in this blog) that I felt that I had already touched on it.
My apologies, nevertheless.
Let me tell you that there is still hope as these two clowns do not represent the lot of Malaysian men. But we have to worry for the future of the nation as they happen to be members of the nation's august house and legislative body.
Their worse-than-sexist and very unacceptable remarks were also a point of discussion after tea/coffee following the opening of the "Language and Nationhood: Discourses Across Cultures and Disciplines" by Johor princess (and consort of the Tunku Mahkota of Johor) Raja Zarith Sofiah Idris at the Sheraton Subang Hotel & towers on May 15.
The 3-day international conference was organised by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's School of Language Studies and Linguistics. (I will make a posting on Raja Zarith's speech later.)
Present at our informal little discussion were UKM vice-chancellor Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hassan Shahabudin, writer/columnist/farmer/former Utusan Melayu group editor Johan Jaafar, journalist/media consultant/former Sunday Mail editor Aishah Ali, writer/former lecturer Halimah Mohd Said and Imam Faisal Abdul-Raouf of the Al-Farah Mosque in New York/CEO of the American Society for Muslim Advancement.
Now, imagine that! How shameful are we as a nation to have these 2 making such remarks in the House.
Could they be that stupid? Insensitive?
My conclusion is that the two just wanted to be quoted in the Press. They didn't care two hoots if they sounded moronic.
And more appalling is that no woman MP (except opposition MP Fong po Kuan) protested their remarks. Not even a whimper.
Politically incorrect to do that. eh?
I'd like to believe that our BN women MPs had, at least, already given the 2 clowns a good dressing down behind closed doors later.
Perhaps, in the spirit of twisted BN camaraderie, they did not want to make public their protest.
Just to refresh: the 2 made the offensive and insulting (now known as the "leaking") remarks to Fong when opposition MPs tried to raise a motion on the leaking ceiling near the media centre.
They were quoted as retorting: “Mana bocor? Batu Gajah pun bocor setiap bulan.” (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah (MP Fong) also leaks every month.)

I am now posting a letter, emailed to me by Halimah Mohd Said who sent the same letter to NST and the Star.

Dear Editor
Government leaders and Members of Parliament must exercise the greatest care in their use of language. As elected representatives they are responsible to the men and women who voted them in. They are there to voice our concerns about the issues of the day, and to fight for fairness and justice. They are, in a sense, the role models of society who must uphold the highest standards of ethics and behaviour, including linguistic behaviour.
The sexist remark made by the two MPs - "The member for Batu Gajah also leaks once a month" - not only shows their disrespect for women but more seriously, for the august House of Parliament which they sit in. Such callous behaviour must be condemned in the strongest of terms if the Malaysian Parliament is to get the respect it deserves. It is akin to the "contempt of court" transgression in the justice system and must be rebuked as such.
Malaysians seem to have a knack for loose talk and loose humour. Whilst it is acceptable to jest among friends in an informal setting, we must be mindful of what we say in a formal setting especially when we are representing a section of the community. There is no excuse for things to be said in jest in parliamentary deliberations. The greater part of integrity lies in knowing the boundaries of your duty and responsibility, and in showing ethical behaviour.

Halimah Mohd Said

Of course, we already know that Mohd Said has refused to apologise to Fong because he claimed that "bocor" was not a reference to her menstruation. He told China Press that it could mean urination.
There is really no end to one's arrogance and moron-ism.
Our sis, Eli Wong has her take on it here.
I'd also like you to read Bernard Khoo's (Zorro's) here.

By the way, it is good to know that Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Jalil will meet the 2 MPs tomorrow (Friday, May 18).
Ok-lah. Better late than never.

The Star has the story here.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kak,

These jokers do not report to Sharizat, so nothing she can do and they 'will not listen' to her. I am not surprise of another 'joke' on Sharizat.

They are not qualified to be MP and should be reprimanded accoding by PM. Preferbably, sack them to ease all women in Malaysia.

Nani, Cheras

Mat Salo said...

Kak Ena..

Yes, I was wondering why you've been "quiet" on the issue when other blogs were lambating these sorry excuse of the male species. Not just any male species mind you, but law-and-policy makers! They're not qualified to be men, let alone MP's! Period. (apa nih, dbl entendre keh? -Sorry)

elviza said...

Dearest Kak Ena,

I am utterly appalled by those two, I am afraid to write anything about it on my blog, for fear that I will let my emotion brings the worst out of me.

Be that as it may, the incident is totally uncalled for. Sexist remarks like than doesn't not belong anywhere in this civilised society, let alone in the House of Parliament.

What more, apology is long overdue. Their silence is deafening. As a woman, as a mother, as a blogger and on behalf of all my female counterparts, we are offended.

p/s: Thanks for the space, Kak Ena. Really hope to spend time with you & Kak Azah & Kak Ton soon!

drbubbles said...

kak,

i cannot think of better words to describe the two MP except they got leaked brains (otak bocor) for making that remarks.

Pasquale said...

Nuraina Hi!

I am sorry to hear that more stupid statements made by our MPs, while majority of commonwealth member countries are making tremendous progress Malaysia is getting more uncivilised as shown by conduct unbecoming of its MPs who are bend on making threatening or sexist remarks! We as a beautiful country with great potential that are slipping into a cesspool of worse than mediocrity! At least under TDM there was that modicum of civility but today I have no idea who is running the show!
In Canada for example such major faux pas by Jasin's and Kinabatagan's would have seen their MPs told to resign by their PM, but alas, it appears we may be slipping into the dark ages of political darkness if the performance of our lawmakers are of any indication!

Nora said...

Kak,

Apologies accepted. Glad you finally make the entry. Tot you wef wef them.

In BTW I had move already, care to up-date link kak. Had email to you at yahoo.

Adios,
Nora

Kak Ainon, Besut said...

Asmk Noraina
It’s never too late. I think it’s a better strategy for you all (bloggers) to take turn to fan up the issue and keep it hot until some justification is done. Wonder what’s the outcome gonna be. High time that they (these two in particular) are taught some lessons and to let it be an example to the other MPs – that they don’t own the Parliament, and it’s NOT a kedai-kopi.

Truthfully, if DPM Najib himself has decided to play down this controversial 'crude' remarks by suggesting that it was not supposed to be taken seriously but to take it with a sense of humor and that people are making a big deal out of it – then I’m really2 skeptical on the outcomes.

And one of the concerned MPs still thinks that “its nothing” and is being non-apologetic about it (Why should I apologise? This was a matter raised during debate in Parliament. This is usual," he said - Malaysiakini). Memang that is his usual behavior and famous trademarks in the Parliament - arrogant, ta’ de adab (thinks he’s being a hero, my foot).

Let’s all sign-up to the petition at
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/whymycountry/index.html

I assume the letter was written by the same Halimah Mohd Said who participated in the 3-day int conf that you mentioned? Very well-said!

Have a good day, regards
Kak Ainon

Tunku Halim said...

Often the mouth moves before the brain.

nstman said...

Barisan MPs were laughing and joking when the remarks were made by the two morons. you could see the smirk on their faces when you watch Youtube. what were the Barisan women MPs doing? Of course, being model MPs they did nothing. Women cannot allow this thing to go on. As Zainah Anwar said, it is not funny any more. But what was more shocking was the way the Cabinet responded to this outrage. The cabinet thinks this is funny. Nazri thinks it is funny, Najib thinks it is a joke. Shahrizat sat on the sidelines but reluctantly took a stand when the incident boiled over. No, this is not funny. Sexist jokes demean our mothers, sexist jokes demean our sisters. It is not funny any more. It's time men and women rally and fight this scourge. It is time to put an end to this nonsense. For far too long chauvinists have been making fun at the expense of women. Barisan's huge majority makes them think they are invincible. My advice to Barisan morons in Parliament is very simple - you have had your fun but patience has its limits. We are coming to get you, you blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things. One last word - Barisan MPs make me sick and they are becoming poster boys for the Nazis.

Anonymous said...

Thank you dear Nuraina for giving me the space. STAR posted a contracted version on Monday but NST went back on their word

after I received a call from one of their editors on Tuesday. He asked for my address because they were going to publish it.

Yesterday when I called to ask whether they had eliminated me for political reasons I was told the call to me was "premature" -

whatever that means in journalistic or political jargon!

Halimah

prufrock said...

Ma'am; more than clowns, they are arrogance personified. They think they can get away with this because:
1. They can hide behind the sheer size (number) of the govt bench 2. They think their number one will not take action aganist them because of the patronage system and the notion that their patron needs their political support and therefore won't rock the boat, as it were, since in his eyes the antics of the two nincompoops are merely inconsequential transgressions. (How else could you explain such an insult as "the close one eye and shut the eye suggestion to the Customs" episode) 3. And being govt back bench members, they think they can get away with "Blue murder".

I think herein lies the tragic flaw of our much touted Westminster-model democracy. We can't care less whether our grassroots as well as national political leaders deserve to be where they are or not for so long as they deliver me, as number one, the requisite votes at both the party and govt levels. Because of the patronage system, wrong doers (whatever their sins are, big or small)do not resign their positions, let alone get sacked.

As far as Shahrizat meeting these dinosaurs is concerned, I doubt whether it will stop them from continuing to spout out insulting sexist comments which they try to pass off as witty double entendre. The govt front bench and the Executive of which Shahrizat is a member donot hold sway over govt back benchers, I think (and of course I stand corrected).

But the Chief Whip of the govt bench is their overlord and one crack of the whip from him will certainly stop this idiotic lunacy by the two a***h***s. If we really wanted to stop this bleeding nonsense and show that we are true practitioners of Hadariism (surely Hadariism recognises women as mothers and companions of their spouses and therefore honour them as such for their noble roles), they could - after being 'whipped' - be referred to the House Privileges Committe. And for good measure, the Leader of the the House, who is the PM and leader of the ruling coalition, could then put the two on the carpet and sack them from the House.

But you and I know, ma'am, that this is wishful thinking. The stock response from the political bosses would, in all probability, be: tak baik buat orang gitu, nanya dia. And it's sad; for 50 years we've been shouting to anyone who cared to listen that we are a model democracy, especially to the third world (Shouldn't we benchmark ourselves against, say, the Scandinavians?)

The reality is that after 50 years, we are still immature. Tragic!

Hi&Lo said...

Nur,

Thanks for keeping up the tempo. When it comes to transgression of basic fundamental principle, we must condemn it unequivocally regardless of affiliation.

The BN whip has become perverted in its exercise of party discipline. So, it's left to us to make crude remarks and behaviour socially unacceptable, esp coming from the highest house in the country as it represents our collective voices.

Of all people who came to the defence of Kinabatangan and Jasin, I cannot accept our DPM's stooping so low to tell us not to take the joke too seriously.

I think the joke was a red herring to divert the question of why parliament house was leaking. Nevertheless, it was in very bad taste.

Umno has lost its idealism. It has become a party banking on cheap sensationalism. Believe me such stunts sell in Umno. How an aspirant intends to serve is no more a platform to get elected.

I don't know the whether the news of a KK division leader's advice to women was reported in the national papers.

In his keynote address to the Sabah Women's Lawyers Assn, he advised women going to get rape to just lay down and enjoy it cos no statistics showed women enjoy being raped. And, he added, this could be the best defence the victim could put up.

Despite the uproar and outrage, this man nearly got reelected in his division.

mekyam said...

Dear Ena,

I agree with Kak Ainon. You aren't late, you're the second wind!

Bloggers and their readers need to keep the issue alive until these two men (who not only insulted all womenfolk but must surely shamed their mothers and wives too) are somehow made to lick their own rude leaks.

These are disgraceful men. Unfortunately, from what we hear/read, there are many more like them among our elected reps. Malaysians really have to be more discriminating in their choices at the next GE.

Mat Salo's "They're not qualified to be men, let alone MP's!" says it well.

***

Ena, boleh mekyam tumpang lalu...

[Aside to Kak Ainon of Besut: A couple of years ago there was a Malaysian lady who was a prolific and exceedingly readable poster at the antiwar.com forum on yahoogroups. Everytime I read her, I swelled with pride. You sound rather like her. Was it, by all that's wonderful, you? :D]

NURAINA A SAMAD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
max said...

Kak Aina,

What can I say? Tak cukup lagikah insiden demi insiden membuktikan yang this kind of male political aggression is counter-productive?

I've made a mental catalogue of this 'genre' of politics throughout my years of attending all sorts of political functions and to state the obvious, I believe there's a trend. Saya percaya politikus-politikus lelaki yang sexist sebegini maseh being influenced by some primordial part of their subconscious - the one where the phallic symbol predominates and lend its auto-suggestion for self-defense or self-enlargement (no pun intended) whenever imminent threat is registered by the regular day-jobber part of their brains.

Sengaja saya buatkan komen seperti di atas sebab gaya politik lelaki yang sebegini dah "beyond comment". Tapi I take my focused stand on who should be blamed. Yang patut dipersalahkan hanyalah mereka yang mengeluarkan kata-kata celupar tu, bukannya kaum lelaki keseluruhannya.

I still remember one of my arwah mummy's greatest advice "HAH, BUAT LAH LAGI. Kalau dah patah, tersiat karang baru kau nak insaf!", which says a lot about the prescience of mummies in general as I've discovered personally, especially as an adventurous adult.

Talking about being adventurous in general, I think the Dewan is not at all a place for all that which do not share a direct correllation with the issues of the Rakyat. The place, after all, is called "Dewan Rakyat" for a reason, I do staunchly believe.

Come onlah... to echo the Rakyat's exasperation in the simplest of utterances, jagalah mulut kita semua jangan sampai sembrono selalu. Not just in the Dewan but whenever and wherever we may find oursleves in a very, very (very, very) public place.

old female fart said...

I would advise people like Halimah Mohd Said to forget writing to NST or even STAR if they are going to be insulted and chopped up by greenhorn editors. Why bother when all these newspapers are interested in is to be politically correct. Yes - write to the bloggers instead!

The street picketing seems effective in getting the Minister's attention but some of you are right. These "lancap" MPs who indulge in "linguistic masturbation" are so cocksure about their power base and political connections they couldn't care two hoots about who they have hurt or demeaned. These "pea"cocks are strutting around smugly!

We must remember there are plenty of grass root people (men and women) who think and speak in exactly the same way. They actually think their MPs are clever and funny!

So how do we strategise to educate them to change their chauvinistic mindset? How do we get them to see the absurdity of their behaviour and its ramifications?

I've always believed in the collaborative rather than confrontational approach (at least when I'm not fuming with disgust).

Can we say "BUNG, BUNG janganlah LANCAP selalu! Janganlah BANG BANG sesuka hati ya BANG! Nanti habis BOCOR tubuh badan yang kita bela ini! Tidak boleh TUTUP SEBELAH MATA kalau nak bina rumah dan penghuninya yang baik-baik belaka. Sekarang ini ramai yang dah celik-celik belaka dan sudah JELAK melihat orang yang JELIK seperti BANG BUNG - terutama BLOGGER-BLOGGER kita yang handal.

Raden Galoh said...

Dearest Kak ena...
Maybe they wait for us bloggers to raise it...and they'll take action...as usual...they see us with POWER...

So glad to read halimah's letter to the editor... tu kalau tak paham jugak persaan kita perempuan, wanita, ibu, isteri, dan kakak...tak taulah saya kak...

Kak Ainon said...

Ena,Mekyam
Haha, kelakar lah you all ni. Okay, let me help to solve half of the mystery. Need someone else to tell on the war-petition. Maybe bro-Rocky can help?

I found the info yesterday in Malaysiakini, posted by Yoges Palaniappan - under "Have your say on action against sexist MPs". The online petition-cum-poll was created on 11th May by C.Paranthaman, 28, a Malaysian residing in Singapore, mainly to get the support of Malaysians to bring the issues to the attention of the goverment. He forwarded the details in an email to MK..

So good of him.
Regards,
Kak Ainon

lady pot pet said...

OMG...and to know that these jokers are part of our country's frontliners . Aiyooooo...embarassing!!!!!!!!!!!!
MCPssssss...

Anonymous said...

This is a classic case of sitting too long on their brain.

Hi&Lo said...

Three cheers to Halimah for writing to the papers despite knowing the odds of seeing the light of the day.

We must be righteously angry at any insult to human dignity.

I have to try very hard to believe Sharizat is serious and sincere to make her colleagues to be gender-sensitive. Her belated actions were prompted by the united condemnation and sympathy by various groups.

She may be very nice in person. But I have seen enough of unscrupulous people who are also very nice when they wanted to.

bakaq a.k.a ~penarik beca said...

Quote:

Of course, we already know that Mohd Said has refused to apologise to Fong because he claimed that "bocor" was not a reference to her menstruation. He told China Press that it could mean urination.

Hoi! Mat Said! Hang kencin sebulan sekali ka?

A liar will always lie!

Hi&Lo said...

Penarik Beca,

Mohd Said tak pernah bohong. Dia tak pernah belajar biologi. Walau bagaimanapun, membangkitkan kencing pun tak sesuai di Dewan Rakyat.

He and his buddy Bung Mohtar are a pair. They reflect perfectly their family background.

Bung claimed he was under extreme provocation to slip his tongue. Tak ada grey matter so had to resort to such crude remarks.

What was so provocative? Bung said opposition accused govt of corruption. Didn't TDM say corruption is now above the table?

WANSHANA said...

Kak Ena,

Three things to say about the two MPs -

(i) Otak bocor (to quote Dr. Bubbles)

(ii) Mulut bocor...

(iii) Bola-bola bocor...