Updated 4pm on 7 June 2009
SHAH ALAM, 7 June 2009: “Talibanisation” — that’s what Wanita MCA considers the views of some PAS delegates who wanted women reporters at the PAS muktamar to cover their heads and be segregated from men.
Chew Mei Fun (Source: wanita.mca
.org.my) Calling it “narrow-minded thinking”, Wanita MCA chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said she was “aghast” at the complaints against women reporters by some PAS delegates at the Islamist party’s muktamar.
“[Such thinking] perpetuated by PAS delegates is the forefront of the Talibanisation of Malaysia should PAS ever seize federal power.
“Apart from their vehement insistence on establishing an Islamic state which calls for hudud and syariah laws to be imposed even on non-Muslims, what is equally worrisome is that PAS intends to regulate women, thus subjugating them as inferior to men,” Chew said in a press statement today.
“At all costs, Malaysia must prevent the spread of Talibanisation led by PAS,” she added.
The Star reported that on 6 June, during the second day of the muktamar, a few delegates had complained that women reporters did not have their heads covered and were mingling freely with their male colleagues.
Chew said PAS should not have double standards against women journalists, who were usually decently attired when covering assignments.
She said during the Bukit Gantang by-election, women reporters followed PAS candidate Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin on his campaign rounds, and there were no complaints about their attire then.
“There appears to be double standards in PAS whereby when they want votes and publicity for their election campaign, they do not object to the audience and members of the media of both genders sitting and mingling together.
“But at their AGM (muktamar), they demand female members of the media to cover up and deny them the freedom to double check their notes with their male counterparts. PAS should be aware that sometimes journalists would refer to each other’s notes for clarity,” Chew, a former journalist, said.
The reporters’ area, located in the same hall where the PAS delegates were
She also said PAS should understand that in any working environment, it was natural for men and women to meet each other.
Chew challenged the DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, who together with PAS form the Pakatan Rakyat, to “prove their sincerity” in rejecting PAS’s extremism.
However, Dr Lo’lo Mohamad Ghazali, a PAS central working committee member, tried to moderate these views from her party when she spoke during the debates on resolutions today.
Addressing complaints about female reporters’ attire, she said not every woman was required to cover their “aurat” and the matter depended on when one was ready to do so.