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PKR support for Wong conditional

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 Feb 2009: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s continued support for Selangor state assemblyperson Elizabeth Wong will depend on the content of any new photographs which may surface.

“It depends on what the pictures are,” PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali told The Nut Graph last night, when asked whether the party would continue to back Wong if more private photos of the assemblyperson surfaced.

However, Syed Husin added, “I don’t think there are any more.”

Wong, a first time elected representative, has been the target of a smear campaign in which intimate photos of herself, purportedly taken by an ex-boyfriend, have been circulated on the internet and through MMS without her consent.

Rumours have been rife that more material, including an intimate video, would also be circulated.

“I have been told there will be a fresh assault, with more photographs and videos released and circulated in order to completely degrade and bury me,” Wong said in a 19 Feb press statement.

Wong has tendered her resignation as both assemblyperson and state exco, but was asked by PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to go on leave instead.

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has also openly supported Wong, saying that she was an exemplary exco and a victim of a smear campaign.

However, Khalid is scheduled to meet with Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj tomorrow to brief the Selangor ruler and seek his advice over the matter.

There have been widespread calls for Wong, who is currently on leave overseas, to continue serving as an elected representative.

Police are also looking to record a statement from Wong’s ex-boyfriend, Helmi Malik, to assist in investigations.

Helmi, who is believed to be out of the country, is a PKR member and the former aide of Member of Parliament (MP) Hee Loy Sian.

Members are vetted

When asked to comment on the fact that both Helmi and Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who accused Anwar of sodomy last year, were PKR members, Syed Husin said the party was “always in the process of vetting its members”.

“But there are those who manage to slip through,” he said.

PKR believed Saiful was a Barisan Nasional (BN) plant, citing a photo of the young aide with a staff member of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as proof of a political conspiracy to bring Anwar down.

Pakatan Rakyat has also accused the BN of the smear campaign against Wong even though there is no evidence to prove their allegations.

However, Syed Husin was careful not to paint Helmi in the same light as Saiful Bukhari.

“People always assume that he was the one who distributed the photos, but we don’t know for sure,” Syed Husin said, adding that investigations were still ongoing.

Language issue

Earlier, Syed Husin delivered a speech at a forum at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall to protest the teaching of science and maths in English (known by the Malay acronym, PPSMI).

He replaced Anwar as PKR representative on a panel that included, among others, PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP) chairperson Datuk Hassan Ahmad.


Syed Husin (left) with other members of the panel at the forum

Syed Husin said the idea of improving students’ command of English by forcing them to learn technical subjects in the language was ridiculous.

“Our party strongly supports GMP,” Syed Husin said, expressing hope that the movement’s planned 7 March “mammoth gathering” in front of the Palace would be received well by citizens.

“I am a product of English education. I want to see children excel at English, but this cannot be done at the expense of other languages,” Syed Husin said, adding that the support of the Chinese and Indian Malaysian communities would be vital in making the movement a success.

Another panellist, poet Che Shamsuddin Othman, said if the policy to teach Maths and Science in English continued, he feared that the Malays would lose their language and religion.

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6 Responses to “PKR support for Wong conditional”

  1. amir says:

    I am surprised that Dinsman would say such a thing. Why is the Malay language more Islamic than English?

    But for what it’s worth, I do think this policy should be reversed. Literature in English should be taught to make people speak the gooder England instead.

  2. Jason says:

    Che Shamsuddin Othaman’s assertion that the Malays would lose their language and religion is absurd. Children will always imitate their parents in every way. What they learn at home isn’t changing here.

    I grew up speaking English and only English at home. I learnt Malay when I entered Primary School when I was seven years old. I didn’t lose English and I didn’t lose my religion either.

    I definitely don’t want anybody to lose their cultural identity, language or religion. In saying that however I certainly also do not want our young people to be deprived of the common international language at the moment, if it changes then I’ll support the teaching in this new language. For the moment it’s English and it’s going to be that way for awhile.

    If there are concerns about losing the Malay language, then put mechanisms in place to ensure it has a place in our education system, a compulsory subject perhaps. But what’s utmost important is ensuring that Maths and Science is taught in English.

  3. Avtaran says:

    The issue of teaching subjects in English has given rise to all this outrage that surprises me. Has anyone checked the actual usage of BM in any forum – schools, government publications and the media? BM as I know it does not seem to “exist” anymore. Let me illustrate this. There are Malay words in existence but are not being used; e.g. “belanjawan” is no longer used and instead the corrupted word “bajet” (budget) is used. Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka seem to have no control over BM. There are many examples where English words are replacing existing Malay words in Bahasa Malaysia.

    And to cry foul that BM is being sidelined in schools does not make sense.

    Dr Syed Husin says he was a product of English education … is he the loser for this? Obviously not, he is a well rounded academician and a fine Malaysian.

    I am trying to understand why the Malay writers/poets’ organisations seem to be doing little (if anything) in promoting Bahasa Malaysia as it should be instead of making a ruckus while the language is actually being eroded.

    It saddens me to see the national language become “anglo-cised” and NO ONE in authority seems to care!

  4. Rosman Malik says:

    This fear of English is only felt by the Malays. The Chinese and Indians have no qualms whatsoever.

  5. Rosman Malik, you are wrong. The Chinese educationists fought tooth and nail to preserve teaching maths and science in their mother tongue. They succeeded. They taught maths and science in English AFTER School. AFTER they were done teaching in their mother tongue.

    That’s the different between Chinese and Malay educationist. The latter missed the train BY seven long YEARS. And now they want to reverse it to make our kids more confused! They excel in confusing the kids ;-)

    Thanks.

  6. jayanti naidu says:

    I think this is her personal matter and she should remain in the state assembly and as an exco. It happened in her bedroom and she did not strip in public. She is a victim. You should fight all the way and not give up. This is my advice Elizabeth Wong. All the best to you.


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