Wednesday, January 16, 2013

For the eleventh time, Listen!

Screenshot of Sharifah Zohra Jabeen (right) taking down a university student at a UUM forum

A video of a bullying pro-UMNO speaker publicly berating a student at a university forum on December 08, 2012 has gone viral and I am sure this will embarrass the host university, i.e. UUM. It won’t put the university in a good light because the authorities didn’t exercise due diligence when inviting speakers. Unless the university couldn’t be too bothered because it wanted to be seen as supporting UMNO. Or maybe there is a sinsiter motive, i.e. the university is indoctrinating students.

The speaker, identified as Sharifah Zohra Jabeen, president of UMNO-backed Suara Wanita 1Malaysia (SW1M) and unabashedly proud to wave the pro-government flag was caught on video tongue-lashing KS Bawani, the student – who had stood up to voice her views on the Bersih electoral rally and free education – with caustic remarks such as “when this is our programme, we allow you to speak” and “when I speak, you listen”. The forum was titled “Seiringkah mahasiswa dan politik?” (Are graduates and politics aligned?).

The 20-minute clip was posted on YouTube only last week but it quickly spread on Facebook and Twitter. I will not be surprised if the whole Malaysian academia had seen the video.

It was rude of Sharifah to interrupt the student midway when the latter was making her point(s) and she even repeated “Listen!” a whopping 11 times and taking away the microphone from KS Bawani to stop the student from speaking further.

Defending the BN government's policies, Sharifah reiterated the now-familiar position that government critics should live abroad since they do not agree with its policies.

"If you're not happy, you are very much suitable to go to another university," she continued, miserably revealing her poor command of the English language.

In another instance, she derided Bawani as 'uneducated'. She said in her broken English: "You have proven that you have a very least of pendidikan (education)".

I was appalled that the audience showed classic crowd mentality. Some 2000 students in the auditorium who had earlier applauded Bawani, turned against her and began voicing approval for Sharifah's scathing attacks, many times clearly personal in nature. The students demonstrated that they don't have a mind of their own, reminding me of the witless walking dead you see on “Resident Evil”.

Sharifah quelled another student who attempted to speak out, saying insistently, “Let me speak” before asking the rest of the auditorium audience: “Students in the hall, 2,300 students everywhere. Did I give her respect? Did I give her respect? I came up to her, shook hands with her and gave her respect as another woman. Do you think I need to answer her question with this attitude?”

She also labelled Bersih co-chair Ambiga Sreenevasan an “anarchist”, and criticized the student for highlighting the need for free education in the country, even telling her “if you equate Malaysia to other countries, what are you doing in Malaysia?”

“Go to Cuba, go to Argentina, go to Libya, go everywhere. Because all the students in this hall are happy with whatever the government does for them,” she said, and ticked Bawani off for having “a very least of pendidikan ([education)”.

The speaker was gruff, gross and graceless. Obviously, she has no class at all! A typical UMNO-bred vulgarian!

Internet memes of Sharifah have emerged after the SW1M president publicly reviled a university student for expressing her views.

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