KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — A Malay DAP member has backed Padang Lallang assemblyman Chong Eng now under investigation for remarks critical of a Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) sermon that recommended modest dressing to prevent rape and sexual harassment.
According to DAP's Bukit Bendera women’s wing political education director Syerleena Abdul Rashid, the sermon reinforces a biased and bigoted view against the fairer sex.
“The content of the sermon perpetuated the incredibly biased and bigoted view our male dominated social structure has towards women,” Syerleena, who is also DAP Socialist Youth’s (DAPSY) Bukit Bendera secretary, said.
She added the message conveyed in the sermon titled “Aurat: Antara Kebebasan dan Maruah Diri”( Between freedom and dignity) was regrettable as it carried a “very controversial and dangerous undertone.”
Syerleena said the notion that women were responsible for preventing their own rape was “one that is immoral, thoughtless and depraved”.
“Stop blaming women – blame misogyny, animosity and inanity instead. It is obvious that our problem exists because of how bigotry has mutated our society’s rational and logic. It is made worse, when religion and patriarchy work hand in hand and are allowed to hijack every single attempt to instigate much needed intellectual discourses,” she added.
She then defended Chong and said the assemblyman did not insult the religion, but merely highlighted how the country’s increasingly patriarchal social system views issues relating to violence against women.
“It is obvious that something is amiss; certain factions are trying very hard to subdue our strength and courage by intimidating women into passivity,” she added.
The women development exco is being investigated under Section 298 of the Penal Code for uttering words with intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.
The offence carries a jail term of not less than two years and not more than five years upon conviction.