To be listened to, you must listen first

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Sharifah Zoharah, I felt sad upon listening to your apology.

I was sad because you missed the point of the sensationalised videos with turned you into an overnight celebrity.

The nation was disturbed emotionally because you refused to acknowledge the point made by the young woman (notice how her name is never mentioned but only referenced).

She was trying to engage you in a debate about the education policies inherent in Malaysia.

Not only did you fail to understand her questions/arguments but instead you continued with the much quoted "leave the country narrative".

My dear Sharifah, the irresponsible people who lampooned you in countless social media modalities were not trying to incite hatred.

They were merely pointing out that your tirade was most unbecoming of an educator and someone who purports to champion the rights of women and children.

Looking back on that incident, was there not another way to rebut the arguments made by the passionate Bawani?

Couldn't you have handled it differently? You ask us to listen and rationalise but have you really listened to the words you said and the tone you used?

All Bawani did was to speak her mind and stand up for her rights.

She has the right to support anyone she chooses.

In a democracy (a concept that you said she failed to understand) a person is allowed to have differing opinions.

It's not anarchy if individuals gather to protest against injustice and corruption.

Are you denying that Malaysia is corrupt and that politicians from both divides misuse the power given to them by voters?

Did you not cheer when your Muslim brothers and sisters gathered in Tahrir Square to protest on the ruling government or will you argue that we shouldn't compare Malaysia and Egypt?

My dear SW1M President, common sense tells you that of the 30,000 people who were affected by the recent water disruption, only two thirds are likely to be women and children.

But in your "apology" video you clearly say that half of the state's women and children were impacted by the water crisis.

Should we lampoon your further based on your sensationalised facts?

I think it's clear that further discourse on this issue will lead nowhere.

The only ‘budaya songsang' which will hurt the nation is one that stops people from thinking and having an opinion.

I would ask you to read up on Stalin, Hitler or Mussolini, individuals who terrorised nations with their shallow-minded and parochial thinking but I think you'll ask me to listen, listen, listen and not make comparisons.

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