DAP’s newest recruit in niqab sparks vitriol from critics

The Malay Mail Online
September 30, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Dressed in a niqab — the veil which covers her face leaving only her eyes visible — 22-year-old Jamila Rahim makes an unlikely face for the DAP, a secular political party that is mostly Chinese.

So much so that her public announcement and appearance as the DAP’s latest recruit has sparked a huge storm on the Internet, with a pro-Umno blog telling the young novelist and activist that she would be better off being a “whore” than joining the opposition party.

But Jamila, popularly known as Melati, is unfazed.

“I think the voice of the activists is quite the minority. Not everyone wants to listen to the voice of activists,” Melati told the DAP’s news portal Roketkini in an interview published today.

“If party members are not with them, who else will be? At least those who join political parties can deliver their voices,” she added.

The University of Selangor graduate said she joined the party to represent the activist community, which she said was marginalised during her four years of activism.

In another interview with English portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) yesterday, Melati said she joined the party as its principles is near to her Islamic values, despite being seen as a “Chinese chauvinist” party.

“If reviewed roughly, in the DAP constitution itself, humanism or humanity is put as the spine or main core. In Islam itself, humanity is fundamental and is a need for a human,” she told FMT.

However, Melati’s entry into DAP, especially after two other Malay girls Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud and Syefura Othman, was not received well by critics of DAP and Pakatan Rakyat.

While DAP was criticised for allegedly banking on Dyana and Syefura’s looks, it was a different situation with Melati and her Islamic image.

Instead, her entry was said to be another ploy by DAP to purportedly weaken the position of Islam in Malaysia.

“The truth is, it is nobler for a prostitute who sells herself for a bowl of rice, compared to those who wear tudung and purdah “selling themselves” to DAP for worldly comfort until Islam is weakened,” said an editorial in the portal MyKMU, seen as aligned to Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Hopefully Diyana Sofea [sic], Melati and their friends are given the guidance to return to a better and nobler path, although imperfect,” said the editorial, titled “Melati, Lebih Baik Jadi Pelacur Dari Sertai DAP”

[Translation: Melati, it is better to be a whore than joining DAP].

However, Melati seemed unfazed by her move, which she made public in a footnote for a short fiction piece she sent to Roketkini on September 13.

“[Is it] against the norm? If others have the right to do what they want and believe, why do I need to stop my right to do what I want?” asked Melati.

Lawyer Dyana, 26, joined DAP as the political secretary to Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang; and was picked to contest in the Teluk Intan by-election in May, but lost to Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong by 238 votes.

Syefura, 25, is a more recent recruit, joining during a DAP breaking fast ceremony.

Besides Melati, the two have since received media attention as symbols of the party’s push to gain relevance with the Malay community.

  1. #1 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 - 6:38 pm

    Indeed the fear is so great that any differences in opinion are deemed destructive. why? Is it a house of cards? this only shows how far back the mind has been polluted. It certainly spells the Beginning will take take another generation to turn round. After over 9 plus years of Ketuanan, many still feel unable to accept that this is the start of the 21 st Century!

    • #2 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 - 11:12 pm

      Time is man made. It is to enable a human being to understand the processes of life. But time does not change how a person thinks. It is what a person goes through that make him think. So if you say this is the start of whatever century, but if your mind has all the while stays the same, it will still stay the same. Time is man made because let’s say you go out into space away from Earth and you don’t bring a watch or something that tells you Earth’s time, you really would not know what time it is. If you don’t go through what the other person goes through, you really do not understand

  2. #3 by worldpress on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 - 7:39 pm

    PR get rid of the party who can not uphold our constitution

    open eyes and mind, 99% confirmed they have big problem to uphold our constitution and rights

  3. #4 by Noble House on Wednesday, 1 October 2014 - 4:13 am

    Move over, Umno-Baru! When younger generation of Malays such as Melati joins the Opposition, it reveals the writings on the wall. They no longer buy what the regime has been selling them for decades. No sooner the House of Cards will come tumbling down.

    Ever wonder why those who joined the Opposition are often smart, brainy, and good looking? You can gauge from the response to criticisms hauled at them.

  4. #5 by Justice Ipsofacto on Wednesday, 1 October 2014 - 10:13 am

    Yes, I would bank on young malays too. They are a far better bet than those who jumped ship, particularly, from that soon-to-capsize “MV umno”.

  5. #6 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 1 October 2014 - 10:38 am

    I almost died laughing when I read one of her attacker said she did it only for money!!! Join DAP for money – imagine that!! Anyone with half a brain would figure out that if you are going to join a non-Malay party for money, it would be any number of BN non-Malay party i.e. Gerakan, PPP or even MCA also can these days..

    The senselessness and the entitlement to be so wrong about the critics is what is most scary… Its how the likes of ISIS get started..

    • #7 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 1 October 2014 - 5:00 pm

      Congrats to Clooney and Alamuddin

  6. #8 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 1 October 2014 - 5:58 pm

    “Melati, Lebih Baik Jadi Pelacur Dari Sertai DAP”
    Wah lou eh, how 2 take this SEDITIOUS remark/insult lying down?
    D editorial in the portal MyKMU has certainly INSULTED ALL Muslims dressed in a niqab, SEDITIOUS

  7. #9 by good coolie on Wednesday, 1 October 2014 - 9:22 pm

    In some circumstances, the wearing of niqab could be protection for the woman concerned. Yet, the circumstances of Malaysia do not warrant such dressing, especially when security issues arise as to people whose identity is not apparent.

  8. #10 by boh-liao on Thursday, 2 October 2014 - 9:21 am

    One day, a burly man, dressed in a niqab n carrying a weapon, enters a bank or a shop & does d necessary …….

    Will banks, shops, offices subsequently put up a sign “NO niqab” (macam “NO full face crash helmet” sign)

    Oredi (as shown in many stores’ security cameras) ppl dressed in big loose dress (mayb even with extra pockets sewn in like a kangaroo pouch) calmly helped themselves to what they considered as freebies (like tins of baby powder, Milo, etc) packed on both sides of d aisles of stores

    With incessant price increase (petrol, diesel, toll just up again), rakyat bcome more creatif 2 survive (even though gomen recently proudly proclaimed dat average household incomes have [email protected] RM5,900 per mth – SORRY lah, a figure dat CONNOT even convince a Sultan 2 swallow hook, line, n sinker; seriously, d P’jaya folks must go n attend a refresher course on ‘How to cheat/lie convincingly’)

    M’sia Truly Boleh n Seditious!

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