May 18, 2014
DAP’s Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, whose Teluk Intan candidacy has been belittled by Umno Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, has asked the veteran politician to learn from her underling – Dyana’s mother.
“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.
“I owe who I am today to my family and to my mother, to hard work and…the personal decisions which I have made along my life,” Dyana said in a statement today.
Standing by her daughter during the candidate announcement yesterday, Dyana’s mother Yammy Samat, an Umno member, said it was time for the younger generation to step up.
Yammy was the country’s first woman Umno division secretary and today remains as an Umno member in Ipoh.
Yesterday, Shahrizat said she “sympathised” with Dyana as she did not realised that she was being used by DAP and described Dyana’s candidacy as a “show”.
The Umno stalwart added that Dyana would not be where she was today if it were not for Umno.
‘Women in politics not to serve food’
In response, Dyana said she would be the youngest MP in Parliament if she wins, an impossible prospect had she joined Umno.
Dyana said the statement by Shahrizat (left) was indicative of Wanita Umno’s failure to promote women into positions of leadership in the country.
“It is precisely this sort of negative attitude that originates from the crop of BN women leaders that has constantly robbed women of opportunities to lead in this nation,” she said.
In a stinging reference to Umno Wanita’s grassroot operations, Dyana said women’s role in politics should not be confined to serving food and drinks to party workers and visiting voters in their houses with goodies.
“The party (DAP) has nominated me precisely because I strongly believe in the ideals of justice, equal opportunity and good governance.
“Shahrizat and Puteri Umno should not belittle my intelligence and my ability to tell the difference between BN which protects the interest of the rich and powerful, and DAP which protects the rights of ordinary Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or creed,” she said.
Meanwhile, DAP vice president Teresa Kok backed Dyana’s “courage” and belief in the “Malaysian First” concept which does not sit well with Umno as it challenges status quo.
Kok said that last year Dyana spoke out against Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)’s failure to live up to its purpose of giving opportunities to bumiputera students, who faced greater obstacles than their counterparts.
Recalling the privileged Malay students on campus during her time at UiTM, Kok said, Dyana braved being called a traitor when to urge UiTM open its doors to needy non-Malay citizens.
“Umno has been able to maintain its Malay support by various ways and among them are the existence of unfair constituency delineation and the manipulation of politics of race…
“Dyana’s victory will also be a victory for the Malaysian First concept,” she said in a statement.
Dyana will face off with Gerakan deputy president Mah Siew Keong in the Teluk Intan by-election on May 31. Nomination day is fixed for May 19.