AS a public figure, any words or actions by a re-appointed Kedah Menteri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor may or do influence the conduct of others.
Describing his swatting a female youth student’s head with paper as “biasa” (normal), the outcomes from his remark – despite being uttered in jest – may be far reaching. For example, a male assaulting a woman is deemed to be condonable given her mannerisms.
Sanusi’s statement reverts to a certain stereotype of women’s behaviour and men’s reaction which society needs to move away from.
It is hoped that the public will not emulate such gender profiling which ridicule women but instead take cognisance that these are the simple gender stereotypes that women have to battle and overcome daily.
Caught off guard in the presence of many who laughed and standing before Sanusi, the said young lady could only muster a soft chuckle.
It would have been helpful if the Kedah MB and others around him had been considerate and refrained from laughing. Often times, an aid recipient is in no position to wince disapproval, lest the benefactor be offended.
Wanita MCA urges Dewan Muslimat PAS, Srikandi Bersatu and Wanita Gerakan to send a strong message to their coalition ally by alerting him that Kedah can progress further when due recognition is given to women.
All is not lost: Sanusi can redeem himself by introducing policies to empower women in Kedah in all areas. In particular, tackling domestic violence, sexual, online, physical harassment, violence and stalking against women, tardy husbands or ex-husbands who abandon their spouses and children and do not heed court orders on maintenance, and others.
A genuine apology can commence the healing process and reveal Sanusi to be a statesman – one who is gracious in recognising his error and taking measures to educate the public and safeguard women against assaults, harassment and others. – Aug 22, 2023
Wong You Fong is Wanita MCA National chairperson.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main pic credit: Malaysia Hot