Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail slammed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government for its “continuous gutter politics”, calling on DAP’s Betty Chew to be brave in her dark hour against the torrent of vicious slanders from the BN leaders.
“The attack on Betty Chew is a cowardly act aiming to humiliate a woman and her family. I pray for her to remain strong and continue to stand firm in the midst of these unethical and irresponsible attacks,? Wan Azizah said in a statement.
Expressing her outrage and regret, Azizah denounced Najib, who is also the Women’s minister, for failing to speak up against the sexist and intimidating nature of the BN tactics deployed to discredit Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng through his wife.
The PKR president called on all politicians to uphold and respect the dignity of women. She also appealed to women leaders from the BN to speak out in solidarity for a “clean and healthy political space for women”.
Churlish and cowardly conduct
Earlier this week, Betty was accused by MCA leaders of hitting a former staff in her husband’s office for allegedly having an affair with him.The accusation was made during a Malacca state assembly sitting.
Betty, who is also the DAP assemblyman for Kota Laksamana, has since challenged the MCA leader who made the insinuation, Duyong assemblyman Gan Tian Loo, to repeat his remarks outside the state assembly.
“With regard to the remark made in the sitting on Monday, I feel he (Gan) has committed slander and made a personal accusation against me and my husband. I demand that he retract that accusation,” Betty said.
She also slammed the state assembly Speaker, Umno’s Othman Muhamad, for bias and allegedly conspiring with Gan to embarrass her and her family. Together with 4 other DAP lawmakers, she staged a walkout. In retaliation, Othman suspended the 5 DAP lawmakers from assembly sittings for 6 months.
Guan Eng, the DAP secretary-general, too has issued a statement, denying any affair with the staff and also challenged the MCA leaders to repeat their insinuations outside the assembly. Guan Eng also pointed that he was not MCA president Chua Soi Lek, who is infamous for his sex scandal.
“I have no close or secret relationship with my former staff. My wife had never assaulted me or anyone in her life,” Guan Eng had said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“Let my wife and me prove in court that MCA lied and ask MCA to expose their attempted character assassination as well as the source of this false information. Let MCA repeat their allegations publicly so that my wife and me can prove in court that Lim Guan Eng is not Chua Soi Lek!”
Soi Lek had to resign as Heath Minister, Labis MP and MCA vice president after he was caught red-handed committing adultery in 2007. The video recording of Soi Lek’s sex romp had also been anonymously uploaded into You Tube, where it is amongst the most-watched clips, disgracing the MCA and tarnishing Malaysia’s image as a caring and family-oriented nation.
But so far, neither Gan nor Soi Lek have dared to repeat the accusations outside the state assembly – spurring criticism that they were cowards. Statements made inside a state legislative assembly – just like in Parliament – are privileged and Gan cannot be sued. However if he and Soi Lek were to make the same insinuations outside the assembly, they can be sure that Guan Eng and wife would sue him with the full might of the law.
Soi Lek’s self-praise for adultery an assault against family values
Soi Lek also made matters worse for himself and the BN when he rebutted Guan Eng by praising himself for having the “courage” to admit his affair while suggesting Guan Eng did not dare to own up.
The boorish remark created a public howl, with pundits saying it showed Soi Lek had not repented but was now even proud enough to boast about his affair.
“The latest episode of vicious attacks on YB Betty Chew showed a clear pattern of persistent character assassination against political opponents. It appears that BN leaders are totally bankrupt of ideas and unable to offer sound policy agenda to the people of Malaysia,” said Wan Azizah.
“All women, being mothers and wives, can fully empathise with the predicament YB Betty suffered. All of us, regardless of our political affiliation must take a firm stand, we must put an immediate stop to this dirty political culture.”
Najib took charge of the Women’s ministry after Umno’s Shahrizat Jalil resigned over the RM250mil NFC corruption debacle. He is the country’s first ever male Women’s minister. Najib had defended Shahrizat, saying that she was innocent although her husband and children might be involved in misappropriating and misusing public funds meant to develop the national cattle breeding project.