Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When a tasteless and misogynist remark shows up Umno’s fear



When a tasteless and misogynist remark shows up Umno’s fear

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
Published: 15 July 2014

Why should anyone be surprised anymore by the distasteful and crass speech of Umno politicians or those associated with the ruling party?

If it is not a sexist remark, it is usually something so inappropriate on race, religion and even world history (Long Live Hitler!). No Umno assembly is complete without a catalogue of tasteless jokes on sex.

This is the language Umno politicians speak everyday, to their political comrades, business cronies, wives, mistresses and even children – individuals or groups of people so beholden to them that no one dare chastise them for the rubbish that escapes their lips.

So on they go, infecting public discourse with their uncouth language and infected minds.

The latest to join the long and not-so-illustrious list of Umno duffers is party lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun.

He was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying that a woman may not be a suitable candidate as the menteri besar of Selangor because while having her menses, she may not be able to accompany the Sultan of Selangor at religious functions.

"Hence, the article under the Selangor constitution, for example, may not hinder a woman from becoming a mentri besar, but by convention, there could be problems because of the said circumstances," the lawyer was quoted as saying by the English-language daily.

It is hardly surprising that this individual, well-known as a lawyer only in Umno circles but hardly a name to remember in the Malaysian Bar, has been slammed on social media. His statement is that of a misogynist.

As he himself pointed out, there is nothing in the state constitution that is remotely sexist or that would disqualify a woman from being the chief executive officer but he had to scrape the bottom of the barrel and come up with some rubbish.

The lawyer's remarks were aimed at Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is the chief candidate to replace Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor MB from the time PKR decided on their Kajang Move.

Hafarizam now joins a list of Umno politicians who have emerged as strong supporters of Khalid. Makes you wonder why?

In the Umno lawyer's case, it should be noted that he is a shareholder in the company awarded the controversial Kidex highway.

He and the family of former chief justice Tun Zaki Azmi were given this project by the Najib administration ostensibly because they have some talent as builders, talent as yet unseen by the public.

Khalid, is the only Pakatan Rakyat (PR) elected representative who supports Kidex.

He is yet to persuade his coalition members on the soundness of the highway contract, whose objection to the project lies on its disagreement with the concept of toll concessions. Not helping matters has been the opaque manner in which the contract was awarded.

So with the knowledge that a change of menteri besar could delay the Kidex project indefinitely, it is understandable for Hafarizam to try his darndest to scuttle the chances of Khalid being forced out his office.

After all, billions of ringgit is at stake. And Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Umno's Datuk Syed Ali Habshee, Hafarizam have all in the past days tried to promote Khalid as the MB.

You know the apocalypse is around the corner when Umno leaders start trumpeting the qualities of an MB belonging to their political rivals.

You also know that Umno is nervous about change, that it has to trot out its lawyer to deliver a tasteless statement about a classy and capable woman. – July 15, 2015.

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