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'Outrage of modesty, doctored photo' reports lodged
Lee Way Loon | Apr 7, 09 10:31a

PKR and Umno representatives lodged separate reports yesterday at the Simpang police station in Perak, as campaigning wound down in a blaze of controversy for the Bukit Gantang by-election.
MCPX

BN candidate Ismail Saffian alleged that a doctored photo of him with bar-girls was being distributed, while a PKR canvasser claimed that her modesty had been outraged.

Both reports were lodged about the same time. There were tense moments as supporters of the rival camps gathered in front of the police station, but there were no incidents.

The PKR canvasser, 20, said in her report that individuals believed to be workers for a rival party, had illegally confined her and outraged her modesty.

nazar at voting center bukit gantang 070409Her lawyer Nik Bahrum Nik Abdullah claimed the incident happened near an Umno operations centre in Simpang, at about 3pm, while the canvasser was distributing flyers promoting PAS candidate Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin (photo, in white shirt).

In her report, the canvasser said that the assailants confiscated the flyers and then took her to the Umno operations centre, where she was assaulted and her pants were stripped off.

Nik Bahrum said her ordeal lasted about five minutes before several PKR members intervened. He added that the police have recorded statements from five individuals.

‘Photo doctored’

Soon after the canvasser lodged her police report, Ismail showed up to lodge a report over a poison-pen letter accusing him of being in the company of two women, believed to be Thai bar-girls.

bukit gantang by election bn candidate 240309 ismail saffianIsmail (left) said the flyers contained a forged letter to newly-appointed Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, seeking forgiveness for involvement with the women.

He also claimed that flyers had a doctored photo of him with the women.

“(Slander) is not part of the Malaysian culture. It destroys reputations and families,” he told reporters at the police station.

Ismail also accused PAS of resorting to underhanded tactics to discredit him.
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PM: We need world-class, fact-based reporting
6 Apr 09 : 11.07PM

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 April 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today stressed on the need of world-class and fact-based reporting in Malaysia and the media must be fair and responsible in their reporting.

"This is crucial if we are to foster a constructive debate about our nation's future. I believe we can move beyond those who offer the journalism a conspiracy theory and rumour," he said at the Malaysia Press Institute-Petronas Journalist Awards Night 2008, here.

Najib said responsible reporting does not mean taking side of the government but instead responsible reporting means looking more sceptically and critically at some of the claims from all sides and rumours which make up 'too great part of our political discourse'.

"This is not just true in Malaysia, but such distortions also exist even in the most advanced nations in the world," he said.

Najib said the power of the media, particularly the print and broadcast media, is not only in reporting the news but also in lending credibility to stories and rumours that percolate up from the grassroots and the internet.

"The media best serves the public interest when it goes beyond the superficial; when it asked the tough questions of the rumour-mongers; when it does not lend credence to false innuendo, and instead report on facts and details — whether that is helpful to the government or not," he said.

Najib also said personal attacks have undermined public confidence in the political process and "done nothing to bring us closer to achieving the goals we have for this country".

"I have endured my fair share of these from some quarters of the media. I will always stand up and be accountable for the decision I made as your Prime Minister.

"But I also know that the personal slurs and false accusations levelled against national leaders are deeply damaging to our nation's political discourse and international reputation," he said.

He said countering such personal attacks is not the sole responsibility of any one party or any one person but it is the responsibility of every responsible individual.

"So, today, I call on all parties, all political leaders and all people who want to engage in a new national conversation about the future of our nation — including the media — to do so in a way that respect opinions of others, that values discussions and discourse and that recognises that opponents need not be enemies, that differences of opinion do not come from malicious motives, but from a deep and abiding concern for the future of Malaysia," he said.

Najib also said a new national discourse on the principles of transparency and accountability, service to all and respect and fairness in the public dialogue with the interest of every Malaysians at heart, must be established.

"A vibrant political and public dialogue is the best way forward for our country; the times demand it and the people expect it. Let us not fail them," he added. — Bernama
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No plan to censor MPs' remarks in parliament
6 Apr 09 : 6.14PM

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 April 2009: The Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) has no plan to censor words uttered by members of Parliament during the live telecast of the Dewan Rakyat debate sessions, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said today.

As such, he said, RTM had no plan to air delayed telecast of the debate sessions to allow editing to be made.

"The original objective for the live telecast is to enable the people to see for themselves the conduct and performance of elected representatives in the Dewan Rakyat," he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks on the address of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the Dewan Negara today.

He said that if the speeches were edited, then it would defeat the purpose of telecasting the sessions live.

Several members had proposed that RTM carry only delayed telecast of the sessions so that censorship could be made on inappropriate words uttered by the MPs.

"If we do editing, then the people will be wondering why we edited out certain things. This will cause suspicions," he said.

On another issue, Ahmad Shabery said, it was RTM's policy not to report on domestic problems involving celebrities or politicians.

On the other hand, he said, RTM had a special programme called Sehati Sejiwa (soul mate) which tells the stories of successful marriage involving celebrities.

To a question by Senator Datuk Dr Firdaus Abdullah whether the ministry would take over the role of monitoring and licensing of private broadcasting stations, which is now under the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry, Ahmad Shabery said he had no power to do so.

"It is up to the prime minister to carry out a restructuring if he thinks it is necessary. At the moment there are five ministries which deal with media monitoring," he said. — Bernama
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Cops arrest ‘disgusting’ dad following girl’s report
Friday April 3, 2009

DISGUSTED with her father’s “dirty” habit, a daughter told police about his pornographic DVD collection.

A police team raided their house in Kuantan and found 85 DVDs hidden behind the back seat in the man’s car.

According to Harian Metro, the 15-year-old schoolgirl lodged the report at around 3pm on Wednesday after she found the cache of DVDs in her father’s car. The girl said she was “disgusted” with her father’s habit.

It is understood that the father, a security guard in his 40s, would watch the DVDs when the girl’s mother was not at home.

The man could not explain to the police why there were so many DVDs in his car. Police are investigating if the man is part of a syndicate distributing pornographic DVDs.

/> Harian Metro reported the attempted abduction of a 10-year-old girl by three people driving a white van much like the one used in the kidnap and murder of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin two years ago.

In the 1pm incident on Wednesday, Nurul Nazeha Mohd Zahir was cycling to school when she was grabbed and pushed into the van.

She was “lucky” because the assailants were apparently not interested in her and “dumped” her in a 1m-deep drain near the Subang toll plaza at around 11pm. Passers-by later sent the girl to a nearby police station.

Nurul Nazeha, from Kampung Melayu Subang, said the assailants wore black masks and warned her to keep quiet.

/> Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a sub-heading, it denotes a separate news item.
lips
Oral, anal sex: Controversial acts, but should they be illegal?
Gabrielle Chong | Mar 4, 09 1:27pm

News that the police are contemplating
MCPX
charging Chua Soi Lek for oral sex one whole year after the emergence of his sex tape may have surprised many people.

However, the realisation that both consensual oral and anal sex are illegal in Malaysia will surprise even more people, as these acts are not widely assumed to be criminal.

chua soi lek sex tape scandal 020108 dvdUnder sections 377(A) and 377(B) of the Penal Code, anyone who commits "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" by inserting the penis into the mouth or anus of another person is liable to whipping and imprisonment of up to 20 years.

Penetration must also be sufficient to constitute the sexual connection necessary to the offence described in this section.

However, the code only affects the male person who is penetrating another person, while the male or female person whose mouth or anus is penetrated will not be subject to any form of penalty.

Under section 377(C) of the Penal Code, anyone who commits the same act without the consent of the other person is liable to the same penalty, with the exception that he or she will be subjected to a minimum of five years in jail.

Writer and activist Tan Beng Hui, feels that section 377 is obsolete and should be repealed. "The operative word in the code is not consent, but the act of oral and anal sex itself. It is its perceived unnaturalness that is the basis for the harsh maximum sentence regardless of consent.

"Or course, non-consensual anal and oral sex are rightly criminalised, but these provisions should fall under provisions for rape instead.

"How lawmakers deemed it appropriate to include them under an ‘unnatural sex law' is telling of how the emphasis is on viewing these as acts ‘against the order of nature' rather than acts that involve violence and coercion," she said.

Archaic law?

The code, drafted by Lord Macaulay in 1860 with the intention of prohibiting sodomy, was later incorporated into the laws of many former British colonies, including Malaysia.

But while the original code was abolished in the UK in the late seventies and later in several other former colonies, the Malaysian version has never been amended.

On this, Tan commented, "It is a legislation that was introduced into the country under British rule, so it is curious that we not only continue to abide by it but defend its provisions as being in line with Asian values."

Across the Causeway, section 377, which criminalises oral and anal sex, was repealed in October 2007.

However, section 377(A) of the Penal Code, which prohibited acts of gross indecency between men, was retained in the backdrop of public commotion and heated debate between both proponents and opponents of the code.

The retention meant that oral and anal sex was finally legalised for heterosexuals but not homosexuals.

homosexuality and lesbians symbols 240105"They (homosexuals) live their lives. That's their personal space. But the tone of the overall society, I think, remains conventional, it remains straight and we want it to remain so," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said during the Parliament debate before a petition to repeal section 377(A) was rejected.

Nevertheless, the Home Affairs Ministry in Singapore has promised not to actively persecute anyone under section 377(A) of the Penal Code and prosecutions under that section have been rare.

However, in Malaysia, there has been little or almost no awareness on, much less opposition to, section 377 despite the fact that most human rights groups and activists strongly believe that the code violates the right of adults to sexual relationships within a private environment and the presence of consent.

Social taboos

Feminist activist and researcher Jac Kee admits, "Section 377 of the Penal Code has rarely been tackled by local human rights organisations.

"Although the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has considered taking steps to push for reform, it has been occupied with other pressing matters, especially laws pertaining to rape, divorce and issues involving women's rights.

"However, much of the lack of activity on reforming section 377 of the Penal Code is also due to paucity of space and willingness for proper discourse on sexuality rights in Malaysia."

Agreeing that the taboo around sex was an obstacle to abolishing section 377, Tan added that a culture of fear has also hindered Malaysians from raising difficult questions.

"So long as these two obstacles remain, any effort to repeal the section will be difficult because we cannot speak honestly about our views, and hence cannot consider the full range of implications related to sexual matters.

"A third obstacle is related to our inability to separate matters of personal morality versus public morality. What happens within the confines of private life, so long as no rights are being violated, should not be regulated by the state," she said.

"We should also ask ourselves what it means when the two times Section 377 has received any publicity has been in relation to politicised cases; the first involving Anwar Ibrahim, and now relating to Chua Soi Lek.

"It is not a coincidence that this law has been used to discredit both these men given how it is premised on the demonisation of sexual practices outside intercourse between a man and a woman within the institution of marriage."

She also noted that a shift in Malaysian mentality towards respecting the privacy and lifestyle choices of individuals was needed before any substantial reforms in laws pertaining to sexuality rights could be attempted.

In 2007, a parliamentary select committee reviewed Section 377 of the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code. However, no amendments were made to the former.

Respecting the tenets of religion

According to Honey Tan, social activist with Empower, two recommendations to amend Section 377 were also shot down during the United Nations universal periodic review held in Geneva last month.

The review is held every three years to draft recommendations to improve human rights protection in member states.

The Malaysian delegation, led by Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry, Rastam Mohd Isa, noted that it was right to say that the Malaysian Penal Code criminalised oral and anal sex, adding that such sexual conduct was against the tenets of not only Islam, but other major religions in Malaysia.

Chile recommended that Malaysia eliminate standards in the penal code which allow for discrimination against persons on grounds of sexual orientation, while France recommended that Malaysia respect the rights of all individuals, including homosexuals, by de-penalising homosexuality.

However, the Malaysian delegation reported that both suggestions did not enjoy the support of all Malaysians. Hence, it is safe to say that the ban on oral sex and anal sex will probably stay for a long time yet.
lips
Women’s participation in politics: Is a quota needed? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 August 2007 06:02am

©The Sun (Used by permission)
by Dr Cecilia Ng

 A large crowd of women elbowing their way to vote at a polling station in Mersing, Johor, during the first general elections in Malaya in 1955. The Alliance won 51 parliamentary seats out of 52.
A large crowd of women elbowing their way to vote at a polling station in Mersing, Johor, during the first general elections in Malaya in 1955. The Alliance won 51 parliamentary seats out of 52.

IS THE participation of women in politics and political life an accurate and adequate indicator of gender equality and empowerment in a country? Apparently so.

The participation of women in parliament is one of the three indicators of the Gender Empowerment Measure according to the United Nations Development Report.

Not only that, it is also assumed that there should be at least a critical mass of 30% of women in high places so that, as decision makers, they can make changes towards gender equality.

According to this quantitative index then, are women politically empowered in Malaysia? Not really as after 50 years of independence, women make up only 9.6% of the House of Representatives, 6% in state assemblies, 9% of cabinet ministers and comprise 10% of total members in local authority councils. Nonetheless, they do make up 30% of the total senators in the country.

It has indeed been a slow and arduous climb for Malaysian women to gain political representation.

The perennial question is: why are there so few women in political office? Are women not interested in politics? If they are interested, what are the barriers to their participation?

Actually, it is a myth that women do not participate in politics. Women comprise around 50% of the membership in both the ruling and opposition political parties. The women’s and Puteri wings of Umno, MCA and MIC have been active, untiring and loyal supporters of their respective parties and are often seen campaigning house-to-house during election time, come rain or shine.

The three women Members of Parliament of DAP have been quite vocal in championing women’s issues in the Dewan Rakyat. Apparently, DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat have passed a resolution towards achieving 30% women’s participation in leadership positions in their respective parties.

Yet many barriers hamper women’s journey towards political leadership positions. Much of these are in the nature of how politics is experienced and practised in Malaysia, if not at the global level. Politics is still a male-dominated macho world where those who have financial resources and political backing have a head start in the “race”. Not having much economic resources to start with, women are caught in a quandary.

Further, their physical and moral space to seek political endorsement are severely constrained by tradition and culture. Their roles as good mothers and good women are questioned in public if they openly aspire to political power.

Nonetheless, does increased women’s representation automatically translate into increased women’s rights?

Women’s groups in Malaysia have been asking for at least a 30% representation of women in decision making positions and in political leadership. But we all know that increasing women’s participation in elected office does not guarantee their automatic transformation into advocates for women’s rights and empowerment.

The debate over the quota system within the women’s movement has been intense as some of the women who have been elected, for example, in India or Pakistan, have been little more than representatives of their men folk who are the wealthy or politically corrupt in the area under contestation.

However, over time, some of these women have become politically savvy and have started asserting their own agenda, which is usually that of rural development. Alarmed by this, some male politicians are demanding that the quota system be abolished as it is detrimental to their culture!

To be sure, the quota system should be viewed as a temporary measure and should not be a ploy to garner votes from women. It is but a route towards the structural transformation of society to abolish gender inequality.

The recently unfurled 9th Malaysia Plan has finally endorsed a 30% policy for women’s participation in decision making in all sectors of society. It remains to be seen how legislative and policy instruments will be utilised to ensure that this percentage is achieved.

At the end of the day, the most important aspect is to have political representatives, whether men or women, who have their constituency and Malaysian society at heart.

But to start with, political parties have to assure their supporters that they are pro-active regarding women’s interests. They can do this by adopting a Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Platform that will address gender and other forms of social inequality in the country and by ensuring that there are sufficient quality women representatives at the highest levels of governance.

Dr Cecilia Ng is an independent researcher and women’s rights advocate. She has taught at Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, and the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. She is a co-author of Feminism and the Women’s Movement in Malaysia (2006: Routledge).

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In Malaysia, Pressure Builds Over Enforcement of Islamic Laws
By Michael Richardson
Published: MONDAY, AUGUST 18, 1997
international herald tribune

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia: When Noni Mohamad entered the Miss Malaysia Petite beauty contest, she did not expect to become the focus of a bitter struggle between moderate and conservative Muslims in a country that suddenly seems to be veering away from religious toleration toward extremism.

Like many other young Malaysians, Miss Noni, a 19-year old freelance model, says she was unaware of a law banning Muslim women from taking part in beauty pageants.

The law was enacted just over a year ago by the state of Selangor, an urban and industrial center adjacent to Kuala Lumpur.

But the arrest of Miss Noni and two other Malay Muslim women at the end of the contest, followed by their conviction last month for indecent dressing, for taking part in the pageant wearing leotard swimsuits, was the first time Selangor religious authorities had enforced the law.

The Sharia High Court in Shah Alam fined the three women 400 ringgit ($145) each and said they would be jailed for two months if they did not pay the fine.

Under the law, they could have been fined 1,000 ringgit or imprisoned for six months, or both, for the offense.

Now, Malaysian religious, youth and women's groups and the media are embroiled in a public debate about the rights and wrongs of the affair — and the wider issue of how Muslims should be expected to behave in a multiethnic society that has large numbers of non-Muslims not subject to Islamic laws. The debate also reflects concern among moderate Muslims and non-Muslims alike at what they see as a trend toward compulsory Islamization in Malaysia.

Almost all Malays, who comprise about 55 percent of the population of 20 million, are Muslims and subject to both Islamic and Western-style secular laws. The Islamic law deals with marriage, divorce and many aspects of morals.

Minority groups, chiefly non-Muslim Chinese and Indians, are subject only to the secular laws.

The trend appears to be supported by some influential figures in the federal government as well as some of the states, which have the power to legislate on religious matters under the country's constitution.

For example, a committee chaired by the deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, recently decided that all higher education students of whatever ethnic or religious background will have to take a course in Islamic civilization.

At about the same time as the Miss Malaysia Petite row erupted, the chief minister of Selangor state, Abu Hassan Omar, said that a new law would be implemented in 1997 to force Muslims to pay their annual zakat, a religious tax, or face fines or jail for up to three years.

Several other states have indicated that they may follow Selangor. Until now payment of zakat has been voluntary. It is supposed to represent 2.5 percent of personal income from all sources, and be paid into a special fund for distribution to the needy.

Some advocacy groups support the imposition of a conservative dress code for Muslim women, including a ban on their participation in beauty contests, on the grounds that "indecent" dressing exploits and demeans women.

But where, critics ask, would that leave female athletes, swimmers and gymnasts training to compete in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia?

Feminists criticized some religious officials for applying different standards to men and women.

Marina Mahathir, a newspaper columnist and daughter of Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, wrote that some officials were uneducated "charlatans" who wanted women to be "at home having babies endlessly and covered head to toe."

"Compared with incest, child abuse, wife-battering, drug abuse and corruption," she said, "whether you're dressed right or wrong according to someone's arbitrary values should rank pretty low in the scale of the concerns of our times."

The federal government — concerned that the spread of Muslim extremism will deter investment just when it is most needed to revive confidence in an economy hit by recent currency speculation — said this month that it had successfully persuaded the states temporarily to suspend the enforcement of religious rulings on the behavior of Muslims.

Meantime, a committee under the prime minister's department will make recommendations to the Malay rulers, who have authority over religious matters in their states, on a set of uniform Islamic Sharia laws for the whole country.

The prime minister said that the arrest of the three women for taking part in the beauty contest was extreme. In a recent interview with a local newspaper, he said Islam was a tolerant religion that should be practiced the same way by all its followers.

"The Koran never said that Islam must be different in each state," he said. "But there are people who want to show their power. This is the problem."

As a result of a resurgence of Islamic values in recent years in Malaysia, many Malay women, especially those working in government offices, wear full-length dresses and head scarves.

But if Selangor's law on Islamic dress were to be generally adopted, action could be taken against Muslim women who wore body-hugging dresses, bikinis, leotards, low-cut blouses or skirts that exposed the leg.

Muslim men also could be prosecuted if they appeared in public showing the area of the body between the knees and the navel.

Nude pix scandal hits PKR rep (Update 7)

lips
Published: Monday February 16, 2009 MYT 11:59:00 AM
Updated: Monday February 16, 2009 MYT 8:36:37 PM
Nude pix scandal hits PKR rep (Update 7)
By LEE YUK PENG, WANI MUTHIAH, LOH FOON FOONG and SIM LEOI LEOI

PETALING JAYA: Outspoken Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong lodged a police report at the Damansara police station here Sunday night over nude pictures and videos of her that have been circulating via MMS.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Wong said that the distribution and publication of these photos/ video was a malicious attack.

Elizabeth Wong

“This constitutes a gross outrage on my modesty, a gross invasion of my privacy, and in particular the sanctity of my personal life,” she said (see statement in full below).

“I have received a lot of support from my supporters, friends, colleagues and members of my constituency. I wish to thank them for their concern, support and encouragement.

“My family members are standing behind me. I would like to appeal to the media to give me and my family members some breathing space in this trying time so that I can weather this huge challenge,” she added.

OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed confirmed a report was lodged and that police were investigating.

He appealed anyone who has received or seen the nude pictures of Wong to come forward and cooperate with the police.

"We don't have the pictures and we have not seen them, either," he said.

The pictures are believed to have been taken using a handphone, possibly before the general election last March.

Police sources said that the Commercial Crimes Division has been put in charge of the investigation.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Wanita MCA crossed the political divide on Monday to defend Wong.

MCA Wanita chief Datin Chew Mei Fun condemned the person or persons responsible for circulating nude pictures of Wong.

"We are outraged by such shameful acts of using women as sexual objects. It is an outright invasion of the privacy of women as well as an exploitation of women for political use," she said in a statement.

Chew said taking photographs of bodily parts without consent or knowledge is against the law and punishable under the Penal Code (Act 574) and publishing such pornographic materials in the public domain also constituted to a violation of the same Act.

"We would like to advise all women to be cautious. We also urge the government to strictly enforce implementation of the Act which provides for punitive measures so that it becomes a real deterrent against such detestable behaviour," she added

Wong won the Bukit Lanjan seat with a majority of over 5,000, the second largest majority won by a PKR state assembly candidate in Selangor.

She was later appointed a member of the Selangor state executive council, in charge of Tourism, Consumer Affairs and the Environment. She is also the information chief of the Women’s wing of PKR and of her division Petaling Jaya Utara.

As at press time, she had not commented on the issue on her blog.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim urged the police to conduct a proper investigation into the matter.

He told reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur that the Selangor state executive council would discuss the matter during its meeting on Wednesday.

“Someone is trying to frame her," said Khalid, adding that he was waiting for the police report before commenting further.

“The party will discuss the matter with regard to her status. It is unfair to make any decision at this moment without any information," he said.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she would look into the matter and said she felt sad that it happened.

“There is a pattern of PKR assemblymen being attacked,” she said, alleging that the ruling coalition Barisan nasional has had its share of scandals too.

Selangor exco member and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said she had nightmares after learning about the incident.

“This is like invading a person’s privacy and the incident took place at her home.

“The whole incident could be politically motivated,” said Kok, adding that there must be someone purposely circulating the photos.

“She did not do anything that is against the people’s wishes. She is a victim and I support her," said Kok.

Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) said the party would wait for Wong to explain the situation to the Selangor mentri besar.

“We don’t want to know if these are old or new nude pictures. She must explain to us and if she is really guilty of having posed or was involved in the taking of these pictures, we will not hesitate to take action.

“But we don’t want to make any speculation as yet,” he said, adding that he had earlier discussed the matter with both Khalid and Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“And they both agreed that we should not compromise on any disciplinary action. We will leave it to the mentri besar to decide if she is guilty or not as he is the head of the state,” he said.

Unexpected sympathy
The nude pictures was all the talk around Parliament Monday morning. Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar assured the public that the police would conduct a thorough investigation.

He said at present, it was still too early to say who was responsible for taking or circulating the pictures.

“She has lodged a report with the police, let them investigate,” he told reporters after attending the opening of the new Parliament meeting here.

Puteri Umno chief Datuk Noraini Ahmad said that she has not seen the video, but added that privacy should be respected, whether it is of a private individual or a public representative.

“People should not do such things,” she said, but added that those in the public sphere should be judicious in their conduct because their private lives are no longer that -- private.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said he sympathised with the Selangor exco member.

“This should not happen because she is a wakil rakyat (people’s representative) and she is doing her job as one; to get her down through such method is not good.

"I hope she can find the strength in herself to endure this and ignore it," he said.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said that the distribution of such “pornography” was not in our culture.

“We don’t know what the political reason is. I can’t make any further comment because I don’t know the full details.

“This is not ethical and is an invasion of privacy,” he added.

“However, if the picture is a revelation of her lifestyle, all I can say is that it is not right for a leader to adopt such a lifestyle without boundaries,” he said.

Expected lack of sympathy
In Klang, Selangor opposition chief Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said that Malaysians were not ready to accept leaders afflicted with scandals and given this, Wong should relinquish all her positions.

“This is a moral issue and Malaysians cannot accept leaders with moral issues, so she must vacate her state assembly seat.

“Let the people decide and if they still want her they can vote her in again or vote for someone else if they don’t want her to represent them anymore," said Dr Mohd Khir, who last week was detained and questioned by police for taking part in an illegal assembly.

It is rumoured that the pictures may have been taken and circulated by an ex-boyfriend.

ELIZABETH WONG'S STATEMENT IN FULL
I was informed on Friday, Feb 13, 2009 by journalists from The Malay Mail that they have in their possession intimate photos of myself and that the newspaper will be publishing a story about these photographs.

I was told that some people are trying to distribute photos/ videos showing me asleep in partial nudity and also in intimate positions.

The distribution and publication of these photos/ video is a malicious attack on my personality. This constitutes a gross outrage on my modesty, a gross invasion of my privacy, and in particular the sanctity of my personal life. It is being done by unscrupulous persons to embarrass and discredit me?

I am a victim in this incident.

I have yesterday lodged a police report in relation to this matter and I will fully cooperate with the police in their investigation. I will therefore not speculate publicly about those responsible for this gross invasion of my privacy.

I have received a lot of support from my supporters, friends, colleagues and members of my constituency. I wish to thank them for their concern, support and encouragement.

My family members are standing behind me. I would like to appeal to the media to give me and my family members some breathing space in this trying time so that I can weather this huge challenge.

I will in the meantime continue to carry out my task of serving the people of Selangor faithfully.

Elizabeth Wong
Bukit Lanjan assemblyperson
Exco for Tourism, Environment and Consumer Affairs

Poligami: pro Barat atau Islam?

lips
BICARA AGAMA

ARKIB : 22/02/2009

Poligami: pro Barat atau Islam?


Saya mengambil masa yang panjang berfikir tentang tajuk poligami untuk ditulis di ruangan ini. Pasti lepas ini, mungkin ada wanita pembaca tulisan saya sejak sekian lama akan merajuk atau kurang senang.

Pohon saya ingin menyentuh juga tajuk ini bagi berbicara dengan lojik feminis sekularis yang cuba menilai isu ini dengan mentaliti Barat.

Secara umumnya, masyarakat ‘Barat’ ini menganggap seseorang lelaki memiliki perempuan simpanan atau mistress adalah perkara biasa. Bahkan menjadi trend di Barat ini untuk pasangan hidup bagaikan suami isteri tanpa perkahwinan yang diiktiraf. Bertukar-tukar atau menambah bilangan mistress bukanlah satu keganjilan. Namun pemikiran dan undang-undang mereka tidak menerima seseorang lelaki memiliki lebih dari satu isteri atau berpoligami. Poligami bagi mereka mempunyai unsur penghinaan terhadap wanita, atau unsur kerakusan nafsu lelaki. Sementara perempuan simpanan atau seks dengan wanita tanpa perkahwinan bukan satu penghinaan atau kerakusan nafsu. Eksploitasi setiap inci alur tubuh wanita dalam media mereka juga adalah bagi mereka lambang kebebasan dan kemerdekaan wanita. Adapun wanita muslimah yang menutup auratnya dengan rela adalah lambang kezaliman atau penghalangan hak wanita. Malang sekali, aliran ‘liberal melulu’ yang menghantui sesetengah pihak, termasuk di negara kita yang menonjolkan diri sebagai pejuang hak wanita, menelan cara fikir Barat ini lalu menjadikan isu poligami dan menutup aurat sebagai sasaran.

Berbalik kepada isu poligami, perkara yang selalu dibangkitkan adalah bahawa ia menafikan hak wanita atau merendahkan wanita. Padahal beza antara seorang isteri kedua, atau ketiga, atau keempat dengan seorang wanita simpanan begitu besar. Selain dari soal haram dan halal yang dilihat pada neraca agama, seorang yang berstatus isteri mempunyai hak ke atas suaminya; hak nafkah, hak keturunan anak, hak keadilan pembahagian hari dan harta, hak dihormati dan disayangi, hak untuk tidak dipersiakan apabila jemu dan berbagai lagi. Sementara seorang mistress yang ‘dijamah’ dalam senyap atau terang, boleh ditinggalkan tanpa pesan apabila jemu dan diratah apabila bernafsu, tiada apa hak yang boleh dituntut atas kekudusan perkahwinan. Mereka memandang sinis kepada poligami tapi menganggap fonomena biasa bagi perempuan simpanan. Poligami bagi mereka membawa ketidakadilan antara wanita. Mereka patut ditanya; apakah memiliki perempuan simpanan itu adil bagi wanita? Begitu juga, apakah hidup ‘berumahtangga’ tanpa kahwin itu penghormatan bagi wanita?

Ramai masyarakat Barat ini menyangka bahawa hanya Islam sahaja yang mengizinkan poligami. Padahal asalnya, seseorang lelaki Kristian diizinkan berkahwin sebanyak mana bilangan isteri yang dia suka, kerana Bible tidak menghadkan bilangan isteri. Hanya beberapa kurun kebalakangan ini gereja menghadkan bilangan isteri kepada satu. Poligami juga diizinkan dalam Yahudi. Ini berdasarkan undang-undang Talmud, di mana Nabi Ibrahim isterinya tiga, Nabi Sulaiman isterinya seratus. Perlaksanaan poligami berterusan dalam Yahudi sehinggalah Rabai Gersom Ben Yehudah (960-1030M) mengeluarkan perintah menentangnya. Namun masyarakat Yahudi Sephardic yang hidup di kalangan umat Islam terus mengamalkannya sehingga tahun 1950. Namun di Barat, trend hidup pragmatik yang mereka cipta menggantikan agama.

Islam apabila membenarkan poligami, seperti biasa menetapkan dalam setiap perkara peraturan dan disiplinnya. Soal berlaku baik dan adil kepada isteri, bukan sahaja diwajibkan untuk mereka yang berpoligami, bahkan kepada sesiapa yang bermonogami juga wajib melakukan kebaikan dan keadilan kepada isterinya. Jika ada kecuaian mereka yang berpoligami bukan bererti poligami itu buruk, tetapi sikap pelaksananya itu yang salah. Betapa banyak mereka yang monogami yang menzalimi isteri, tidak bertanggungjawab terhadap keluarga dan berbagai lagi. Apakah kerena tindakan salah mereka itu, maka monogami juga patut dilarang? Inilah mentaliti kelompok liberal yang tidak terurus pemikiran mereka.

Ramai isteri yang menghantar e-mail kepada saya bahawa mereka tidak dapat terima suami mereka berpoligami. Ya, itu adalah perasaan yang dikongsi oleh kebanyakan wanita. Apatahlagi jika suami mereka itu tidak menunaikan tanggungjawab yang baik selama belum berpoligami pun. Apabila Allah dan rasul-Nya mengizinkan poligami, pasti ia mempunyai hikmah yang tersendiri. Poligami adalah ubat yang dimakan di waktu perlu dan jangan memakannya jika anda tidak memerlukan. Poligami dalam sejarahnya, menyelamatkan wanita-wanita yang kehilangan suami seperti isteri tentera yang terkorban kerana umat. Mungkin mereka masih muda dan perlukan perlindungan. Jika diharapkan orang bujang, biasanya mereka mencari pasangan dara. Siapa yang akan mengambil tanggungjawab ini? Biasanya lelaki yang stabil dan matang mampu mengendalikan mereka. Mereka ini kebanyakan sudah berkahwin. Saya lihat dalam negara kita, poligami dapat membantu wanita yang baru menganut Islam yang kadang-kala tiada orang bujang yang dapat menjaga mereka dengan baik.

Wanita sama seperti lelaki terdedah kepada sakit dan ketidakmampuan seks. Jika suami tidak mampu dari segi seks, isteri boleh menuntut dipisahkan perkahwinan. Jika isteri tidak bermampuan dari segi seks, amat tidak wajar wanita yang lemah dan disakit ditinggalkan begitu. Namun, dalam masa yang sama naluri suami juga hendaklah diraikan. Poligami boleh menyelesaikannya. Begitu juga jika isteri tidak mampu melahirkan zuriat, apakah patut suami menceraikannya? Poligami sebagai penyelesaian keinginan kepada zuriat keturunan. Maka apabila Islam membenarkan poligami, ia adalah ubat. Barangkali juga ada isteri yang tidak terdaya melayan kehendak suami yang ‘tinggi’ dalam seks. Poligami juga jalan keluar dari beban ini. Kadang-kala ada lelaki yang berwibawa yang memampukan dia memiliki lebih dari seorang isteri yang diberi keadilan yang rata. Maka dalam sejarah Islam, poligami tokoh-tokoh telah membuahkan kebaikan ilmu, keluasan keluarga dan keturunan. Berbagai lagi hikmah poligami yang boleh disenarai panjang. Malang sekali, apabila golongan Pro-Barat atau ‘Islam-Liberal’ ini menyatakan tujuan mereka menentang pologami itu kerana hendak membela wanita, apakah pada mereka selain isteri pertama itu bukan wanita? Wanita itu, bukan isteri pertama sahaja, tetapi setiap yang berjantina wanita termasuk yang akan menjadi isteri kedua dan seterusnya. Perasaan dan kehendak mereka juga adalah tuntutan dan hak wanita yang perlu dihormati.

Pernah saya sebutkan bahawa kadang-kala hukum-hakam Islam boleh diumpamakan sebuah kedai yang menyediakan berbagai jenis ubat untuk semua jenis penyakit. Jangan kerana ada ubat yang dijual itu tidak bersesuaian dengan penyakit kita maka kita menganggap ubat tersebut mesti dihapuskan. Poligami adalah salah satu ubat bagi penyakit yang bersesuaian dengannya. Menghalang zina dan membantu wanita. Bagi yang tidak memerlukan ubat ini dia tidak disuruh meminumnya.

Poligami juga adalah jalan keluar kepada kehendak cinta di luar kawalan. Di zaman ini, untuk seseorang lelaki mendapatkan wanita secara haram, amatlah mudah. Namun jika ada lelaki yang ingin berkahwin sekalipun atas poligami yang membawanya menanggung berbagai risiko, saya rasa dia patut dihormati dan ada nilai tanggungjawab terhadap wanita. Cuma malangnya, poligami ini jika digunakan oleh lelaki yang tidak bertanggungjawab sehingga mencemarkan institusi berkenaan. Apatahlagi golongan anti poligami ini hanya menonjolkan contoh-contoh buruk poligami dan melupai contoh-contoh baik yang banyak. Lelaki-lelaki yang baik dan berkemampuan patut tampil membawa contoh yang baik dalam perlaksanaan poligami. Sementara yang tidak berkemampuan dan ‘lemah kewibawaannya untuk adil, maka janganlah memakan ubat yang tidak diperuntukkan untuk anda.

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