KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud may be a political greenhorn but the protégée of DAP’s Lim Kit Siang bared her fangs today after being harassed in a bikini smear campaign following rumours she was being considered for the Teluk Intan by-election.
Far from rolling over, the 27-year-old who said she realised Malaysia to be a society of mysogynists, has warned her detractors to beware her wrath because they have given her reason to up her ante against racialism as well as religious and gender discrimination.
“And so to my detractors, I wish to paraphrase Katy Perry. You will hear me ‘roar!’” the political aide to the Gelang Patah MP said.
In a letter to The Malay Mail Online today, the Perak-born shared how her personal details had been distributed, leading to her being bombarded with “hundreds of lewd messages” and an Internet smear campaign using photos of a woman in a bikini— said to be of Filipina actress Pauleen Luna—that her attackers claim resemble her.
“While I think the Pinay actress in question is very attractive, I feel this really displays the level of guttural politics that our opponents would go to, especially against a female. Guys, please grow up,” she said.
The Perak-born lawyer, who disclosed that she came from an Umno background with uncles and aunts who had even become ministers, said she was surprised by the vehemence of the attacks but stressed she would not break from them.
“My mother and my mentors have taught me well. They had warned me that there would be days like these,” she said.
Her mother, Dyana Sofya said, had been a loyal and active worker for Umno and had sacrificed much for the party and the country, only to be sidelined following the 1987 schism that saw Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad take charge.
From her mother’s experience as well as her own, Dyana Sofya said she had learnt that politics was a “dog eat dog world which required one to have nerves of steel and skin as thick as oak before one could even begin to participate” but she decided to venture where her own brothers feared to tread.
“And so I chose DAP. For its principle of multi-culturalism. For its principle of standing up for all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion. For its principle of doing what is right, despite the risks and repercussions.
“I knew that if I made this choice that I believed was right, I would not have to fear the judgement of history,” she said.
She added despite the flood of attacks, with detractors labelling her a “traitor” to the Malay race, there had also been a “titanic” outpouring of support from family, friends and Malaysians across the board.
“As I said earlier, I am confident that I will fall on the right side of history,” she said.