Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Salam sejahtera and Salam 1 Malaysia to one and all,
I am writing this press statement in relation to the events that transpired at Universiti Utara Malaysia during a forum held there recently. The video recording of Syarifah Zohra, President of  Suara Wanita 1Malaysia dissing Bawani KS, a student of the aforementioned University has received barrages and criticisms and the video itself has gone viral in the cyber world.

First and foremost, I would like to commend the actions of  Netizens, most importantly “mahasiswas” and “mahasiswis” who have been vocal in support of their fellow student. Such actions clearly indicate that students in these years have evolved in their critical thinking and are exercising their right to freedom of speech as embedded in the Constitution of Malaysia. Opinions and constructive criticisms are essential elements needed in producing a successful nation. Above all, it is solemnly clear via the thread of views in the internet that the Government's initiatives to enhance the laws with regards to the involvement of students in politics is bearing fruit.

I will not enter into a debate on who is right or wrong.  In context of the forum, I respect both their views.  However, it is my personal opinion that Syarifah Zohra could have used much restrain in managing the situation even if she had very strong objections to the views being presented.

My colleagues in Barisan Nasional, YB Khairy Jamaluddin and YB Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, have taken initiatives to contact the student and have rightly distanced Barisan Nasional from the views expressed by Syarifah Zohra. Mr. Vellpaari from MIC’s  CWC had also given a statement to clarify that not all organizations bearing the symbol of 1Malaysia represent the views of Barisan Nasional.

This incident has clearly indicated the importance of evaluating and selecting appropriate personnel with proven track record and experience to manage hostile and unexpected situations, should it arise in the course of a forum or debate.  Personally, I support such forums and debates as it is the cornerstone of a progressive nation.

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