The Malay Mail Online
May 18, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud said today that she would not have been given the same opportunity had she joined Umno, while claiming that the ruling party’s women’s wing had failed to promote its own members into real positions of influence.
In response to Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s criticism against her candidacy, the DAP’s candidate for Teluk Intan by-election said that her party instead recognises women’s role in politics, unlike Umno.
“I am glad that I chose to join the DAP in 2011. For if I had chosen the way of Shahrizat Jalil and Umno, I would not be where I am today, aiming to enter Parliament as the representative for the people of Teluk Intan and if elected, to be the youngest MP in Parliament,” Dyana said in a statement here.
“The party has nominated me precisely because I strongly believe in the ideals of justice, equal opportunity and good governance.”
According to Dyana, DAP recognises the need for a balance in male-female representation in the government, and subsequently nominates more and more women candidates in every election.
“Women’s role in politics should not be confined to playing the second fiddle, serving food and drinks to party workers and visiting voters in their houses dishing out goodies,” she said, in an apparent dig at Wanita Umno and Puteri Umno’s roles during campaign trails.
Dyana also claimed that her candidacy is a result of DAP promoting young candidates regardless of race, including Kulai MO Teo Nie Ching and Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong in 2008; and Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto, and Lanang MP Alice Lau in 2013.
Dyana’s response comes as Shahrizat claimed yesterday that Dyana is being manipulated by DAP, and that Umno deserves the credit for shaping Dyana’s life.
“This is in complete contradiction to her earlier statement by saying that my candidacy is simply a show,” Dyana added.
“I ask that she learns from my mother who herself is an Umno member but has realised that my candidacy by the DAP heralds a breakthrough for young women in politics, especially for young Malay women, who have long been held back by an inflexible, patriarchal structure in Umno.”
In a bid to shed its image as a predominantly Chinese party, DAP has picked a young Malay woman, Dyana, as its candidate for the by-election in Teluk Intan, a Chinese-majority constituency.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng announced the candidacy of 26-year-old Dyana, who is also political secretary to party veteran Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP operation centre for the parliamentary by-election here yesterday.
The Teluk Intan by-election, which is scheduled on May 31, was triggered after DAP MP Seah Leong Peng recently died from cancer.
In the May 5 general election last year, Seah defeated BN’s Mah with a 7,313-vote majority.
The voter base in Teluk Intan is 42 per cent Chinese and 38 per cent Malay and 19 per cent Indian.