Umno’s caveman mentality


Dyana Sofya
The Malay Mail Online
July 15, 2014

July 15 — Apparently, some people feel that Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail may not be a suitable candidate for the Selangor menteri besar post because she suffers from “uzur syarie” (menses).

This statement from UMNO legal adviser Dato’ Hafarizam is another testament to show how UMNO has failed to promote women in politics. This is unsurprising when even the UMNO Wanita Chief belittled my candidacy during the Teluk Intan By-election.

It is precisely this sort of negative attitude by those in power that has constantly robbed women of opportunities to lead in this nation. Only a person with a caveman mentality can deny women the opportunity and right to hold a leadership position in government simply because she may not be able to perform certain ceremonial acts during “that time of the month,” even though she is perfectly capable of performing her governing and administrative obligations.

Obviously Dato’ Hafarizam has never heard of three-term Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, who is one of the most powerful leaders in Europe. Perhaps if he had watched the World Cup Final yesterday, he may have noticed Merkel in the audience, sitting next to the President of Argentina, Christina Fernandez de Kirshner. In case it is not obvious enough for Dato’ Hafarizam, they are both successful women leaders.

In the Muslim world, we had Benazir Bhutto who was the first Muslim woman to head a democratic government as Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1988. Her achievement was followed by Begum Khaleda Zia, Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 1991-1996 and again from 2001-2006.

If the people of Pakistan and Bangladesh had leaders with the same mental capacity of Dato’ Hafarizam, these remarkable women would never have been allowed to rise to their eminent positions.

Sadly in Malaysia, and in the year 2014, we still have leaders who think having menses is a handicap that disqualifies women from being a head of government.

The reality is that the state constitution of Selangor simply specifies that the Menteri Besar must be a Malay Muslim. Nothing is mentioned about the gender of the said Menteri Besar. As a lawyer, Dato’ Hafarizam should respect the letter of the law and not try to blame societal sensitivities and taboos.

I wish to ask whether Dato’ Hafarizam whether it is truly sensitive or taboo to have a woman as leader of a society, or is this simply the case in UMNO?

All over the world, females are given more and more leadership opportunities, and it is our job to educate our own people and prove that we too have remarkable women in our country. Hence, those in power should maximise the potential of women in this country and not belittle others and revealing their shallow sexism in the process.

Power to my sisters.


* Dyana Sofya is political secretary to YB Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader.

Print Friendly

  1. #1 by Noble House on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 3:04 am

    For a UK-trained lawyer to come up with such an outrageous remark is one for the books. Obviously, being not a science student no one did really expected him to understand what biology is about. We all know that DS Dr Wan Azizah is already into her sixties, a mother, and a grandmother as well!

    Hello Counsellor, where did you come from? A rock? Do you know what MCP stands for?

  2. #2 by ChinNA on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 5:07 am

    MCP = Malaysia China Party?

  3. #3 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 6:33 am

    All such behaviours are signs of cornered dogs! Barking at the moon or sun at whatever time of the day. They have lost the ability to think or analyze any issues in depth as they have proven being unable to do so in practically all issues that affect national interests! Surely one cannot be surprised as we all know what our national educational policy is based on. Gutter politics seem to prevail over every issue in this nation! A sure sign of progress to Zimbabwe!

  4. #4 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 7:51 am

    This is typical Umno people trait. They cannot think beyond other people’s private part.

    Why not check the umno’s men attendance in parliament, state and constituent meetings? These guys surely don’t menstruate but what excuses do they have for playing truant? Or do they?

  5. #5 by bruno on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 7:59 am

    All we have to do is ask this Hafarizam a simple question.If a woman does not have her mense

  6. #6 by bruno on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 8:02 am

    My mistake as I hit the wrong button.

    All we have to do is ask this Hafarizam a simple question.If a woman does not have her mense will he be here today.No mense means a woman cannot get pregnant.Does he know this?Maybe not.

  7. #7 by bruno on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 8:06 am

    Hafarizam and Bung Mokhtar are in the same class of sexists.Any woman associated with them would have been very embarassed.Very malu.

  8. #8 by bruno on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 8:19 am

    Umno politicians know best is about women’s menstrual periods and green bras.And donkeys,apes and kangkaroos?

  9. #9 by bruno on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 8:21 am

    His wife,sisters,daughters and nieces would be very embarassed about him.

  10. #10 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 8:55 am

    BUT UMNO DO WANT TO KEEP THE MALAYS IN THEIR CAVE, AT LEAST PARTLY, to stay in power.. I thought it was understood already by now????

  11. #11 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 12:53 pm

    This idiot obviously doesn’t know there is such a thing called menopause.

  12. #12 by Justice Ipsofacto on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 3:08 pm

    In the west they hv captain caveman. In bolehland we have dato orang utan.

  13. #13 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 9:33 pm

    I most prefer the comment that the supposedly learned lawyer did not even bother to ask where Wan Azizah still is menstruating before DELIGHTING in embarassing himself and pride himself on his infantalism.

    It is sure sign of BRUTE, animalism, that someone forces a woman to embarass herself against her modesty, which is her due right and a gentleman’s duty to protect. Isn’t there something in the Quran that says something about protecting a woman’s modesty? Well, its clear being unIslamic is perfectly acceptable to be an UMNO member..

  14. #14 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 9:34 pm

    Sebenarnya dia takut kidex tak jadi. Sebab dia ada kepentingan..

  15. #15 by Godfather on Thursday, 17 July 2014 - 4:35 pm

    UMNO lawyer gets the KIDEX concession on a “negotiated” basis. His partner in the project is none other than the former Chief Justice. What a convoluted world we live in…..no wonder we are all confused.

You must be logged in to post a comment.