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'Injustice to all of us, not just her'
Published:  Feb 20, 2009 1:20 AM
Updated: 12:00 PM

your say ‘This speaks volumes of the state of our crumbling democracy, gender relations and even our basic values of human decency which have devolved to such depths.'

On The political rape of Elizabeth Wong

Abigail de Vries:

As a citizen, a single adult woman, and a thinking, feeling human being, there are no words to describe the sheer outrage I feel at what is happening to Selangor exco member Elizabeth Wong and what is says about the state of our country today.

The Malaysian public is, unfortunately by this time, no stranger to dirty and underhanded politicking. But this is a new low.

How can we as a nation, be asked to stomach such a blatant misogynist political assassination of a dedicated, committed politician?

This speaks volumes of the state of our crumbling democracy, gender relations and even our basic values of human decency which have devolved to such depths that a woman whose only crime thus far was to be in control of both her sexuality and her professional career, can be publicly humiliated and punished.

Meanwhile, discredited, corrupt goons infesting our Dewan Rakyat, and Dewan Undang Negeri are allowed to continue bringing this country to its knees.

This is an injustice not just to Elizabeth Wong but to all Malaysians.

Disgusted Joe Doe: From henceforth, all of us have to bathe with our underwear on and sleep in a three-piece suit lest a lurking Khir Toyo paparazzi agent post the shot taken of us naked on the Internet.

The home minister has again put his foot in his mouth by making silly statements in this respect. I wonder what he would say if pictures of him in the shower should appear in public.

Anyway, it would make a disgusting sight, so I do not think anyone would bother. Shame on you all those who have said unkind remarks about YB Wong.

Please remember that to compare her with the MCA minister is totally unfounded and unfair to say the least.

Lisa Kuok: So what if the pictures show Elizabeth Wong in a state of semi undress - she was in the privacy of her home. When people sleep, they move - body parts get splayed.

Show me someone who lies perfectly still all night with their arms and legs straight by their sides and I will show you a corpse.

Najib, no use acting all outraged that fingers are pointing at BN as being involved in the circulation of the pictures of Elizabeth Wong.

Public perception of BN is so low that the electorate of Malaysia believes that BN is involved in any despicable act that involves bribery, corruption and smear campaigns.

Adriene Leong: Young social activists, such as Elizabeth Wong, should be commended for committing their lives to public service instead of entering the more lucrative private sector.

We must not allow backhanded, vulgar and even criminal acts like the sensationalisation of these photos to undermine the spirit of our young and capable leaders like Wong who are working for a better Malaysia for all Malaysians.

Wong, I offer you my full support.

Jimmie: YB Wong, this is the time you have to be strong. Stand your ground. You have done no wrong. All sound minded Malaysians are behind you.

Khir Toyo has been reduced to a desperado after March 8, one who has compromised his character on many occasions for his political survival. Just ignore this hypocrite.

YB, never, never give up, sail the storm. As we sail through life, we cannot avoid storms and rough waters.

Be brave, just let it pass. Just sail on. Do remember always, calm seas never make a skillful sailor.

YB, please do not resign. Malaysia needs politicians like you.

Ismail: YB Wong, don't resign. If you resign, it means Pakatan Rakyat loses again this time. What BN wants is for you to resign.

As you know, this is just the beginning of an episode; there will be more and even tougher trials than this. BN will never quit, they will keep hounding every Pakatan assembly person.

They want to see you not fulfill your promises to the people. Keep on doing your job and perform your responsibilities as a Pakatan assembly person.

BN has their ‘team member' in every Pakatan branch. These people are watching you and they are the ones who will start to provoke BN-style.

Disgusted Malaysian: As I read the above report, I was further ashamed at the political cesspool that is becoming the reality of the Malaysian political arena.

The political goings-on are fast becoming a real-life day-time soap opera drama.

I am further appalled by the double-standards practised by personalities who themselves have been tainted by past moral and political controversies, now rearing their ugly heads, baying loudly for blood.

Have these people no sense of guilt or is their conscience so deeply buried by their own distorted views of themselves and their perjuangan that they arrogantly throw upon themselves the mantle of moral guardians and assume they have a right to speak for all Malaysians?

To all of these false zealots, I say to you, your already blackened public image can only be made worse by your hypocrisy and the frighteningly blind support and transient sense of security which your supporters are giving you, but hopefully, all that will end very soon.

I understand that Pakatan and their allies may be worried about the fallout that Wong's incident has on the conservative folk who may view the situation rather harshly.

But then again, this further perpetuates the 'blame the victim' syndrome which plagues society and allows, as Bridget Welsh has clearly shared, the perpetrators (normally, men) to escape virtually unscathed!

Is it too idealistic to call for Pakatan to stand their ground and not allow her good work to be tarnished by this?

Because if they don't, aren't they just playing into the grubby hands of the puppeteers, craftily plotting out this tragedy for a chilling agenda that is tantalisingly coming to fruition in March when Najib takes the helm?

Albert Tye: Some people think that Wong should resign so that the fall-out wouldn't affect the chance of Pakatan in the coming two by-elections.

However, I feel this should not be the case. Perhaps this issue can be brought to the by-elections to expose the dirty, despicable gutter politics practised by a certain powerful political party.

Let the electorates decide if she is the victim or otherwise. I think human sympathy for Wong will be overwhelming. Conscience and justice shall prevail.

Ong: In her press statement Elizabeth Wong said :

‘...I have done no wrong. I wish to state that I am not ashamed of my sexuality as a woman and as a single person. I have broken no law. I stand by the fundamental principle of a democracy that everyone has a right to privacy...'

I, like most Malaysians, believe she meant every word of what she said. Since then, it has been very clear that a large majority of Malaysians agree with her statement and have exhorted her not to resign.

If she resigns and fades away, it is going to be inevitable that the public will speculate that perhaps besides those nude photos and video, she really has skeletons in the closet which she hopes will not surface if she leaves politics and the public domain.

Then whether she really has skeletons in the closet becomes immaterial. People will logically assume that she is afraid of skeletons in her closet being exposed.

Elizabeth Wong is not the only one not ashamed of her own sexuality. The large majority of Malaysians are also not ashamed of her sexuality.

Right now, whether Elizabeth Wong likes it or not, she has rock star status. If her leader Anwar Ibrahim is as savvy and astute a politician as he has been made out to be, he should be able to turn this unfortunate episode to the favour of his Pakatan Rakyat.

Allowing or pressuring Elizabeth Wong to resign will be a big mistake.

GC: Any mature and decent person would know that Wong is entitled to her own privacy. Only a low-class politician like Khir Toyo would jump at the first chance to get cheap publicity by asking her to resign.

He quotes some nonsensical reasons while totally forgetting who is the victim and who is the culprit. Unfortunately Khir Toyo is just one of many such low-end products we have in the government.

Society Manner: Why has this happened? How can she be ‘forced' to offer to step down and be out from the political scene?

It is not so much of what she has done that has made this happen. It is what is in the minds of certain people, groups and parties that has made this happen.

Can you imagine that some people once even tried to make an issue out of photos which had her standing next to the MB of Selangor at a function?

Thieves will only see pockets in the crowded streets. It's sad.

Tan Chin Tong: YB Wong, I do not know you in person but I leaned of the good job you have been doing for the environment in your capacity of the Selangor exco member responsible for the environment.

As a Malaysian and an pro-environment advocate, I would like to see you continue your crusade to make a Malaysia and the world a better living place for mankind.

Jr Lee: A lot has been said and written about the trauma of Elizabeth Wong. Many have shown sympathy whilst others touch on morality.

I will not comment on either of these and neither will I pass judgment, for no one in this country does not have any skeletons in their closets.

The life of an opposition MP is never smooth but is a long and tiring struggle where only the strong, the very determined ones, the fearless and disciplined ones, fighting for the principles that they believe in, will survive.

Just look at the DAP stalwarts Karpal Singh, Lim Kit Siang etc. They have survived their ISA detentions, the abuse spat on them in Parliament, the unethical things written about them in the media and they survived, even to this day.

Even opposition leader Anwar is not spared. He was physically whacked while in prison and faces never-ending sodomy charges. PAS leaders, too, had their struggles but they continue to fight on.

As the controlling political party has full access and use of government resources, an opposition MP will always be in a defensive position.

The only weapon the opposition MP has is his or her fighting spirit of endurance. The March 2008 general elections testified that it is this fighting spirit that enabled them to achieve their goal of depriving BN their two-thirds majority.

Now, will Wong and the many new opposition MPs be able to hold on to this fighting spirit and withstand the fiery darts of their opponents?

This is a soul-searching question as many of the new MPs have never faced the humiliation, trauma, abuse or fear for their lives and their loved ones as experienced by their older MPs.

Maria Chin Abdullah: The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) is appalled that private photos of Elizabeth Wong, assembly person for Bukit Lanjan, Selangor, were taken and circulated without her consent.

JAG is very concerned to note that politics is being practised in an increasingly violent, sensationalised and sexualised manner.

We note that in recent months, we have seen the sex tape scandal of Chua Soi Lek, Molotov cocktails being thrown at the house of Teresa Kok and now these photos of Elizabeth Wong being circulated.

These photos are being released at a time when the tussle for power between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan is increasingly intense. Under no circumstance should anyone sink to this low level of politicking.

JAG cannot help but note that Wong is also victimised as a single woman, as highlighted in the media.

Such tactics meant to deliberately cast moral aspersions and indirectly question her ability to carry out her duties as a politician and as a leader deserve no less than our utmost condemnation.

JAG demands that the police forthwith investigate the matter and bring the culprit or culprits to court.

We also hope to hear strong statements from both the BN and Pakatan condemning the circulation of sexually intimate photos and videos as a means of practising politics.

This underhanded tactic must not be part of the political culture of this nation. ( The writer acts and on behalf of the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality. )

On Wong's fate to be decided next Wed?

CH Lee: We often read of women being stoned to death in some backward countries after they are raped to ‘protect the good name of the family'. The fact that she was raped does not seem to matter. That is why they are called ‘backward countries'.

We, in Malaysia, pride ourselves on being a modern and progressive society, but the furore caused by the overly-sensationalised case of Elizabeth Wong seems to suggest that we are not very much better.

She is the victim, but she is being castigated as if she is the criminal. With two by-elections looming, some of Pakatan's opponents are so obviously eyeing this as a potential issue they can exploit.

Knowing this, she has submitted her resignation to protect the good name of the party she belongs to.

This is already regrettable, but it would be even worst if Pakatan were to distance themselves from her in her hour of need by accepting her resignation.

It is like leaving a wounded comrade to die on the battlefield so you can save yourself. Let her not become collateral damage in this war of good over evil.

Pakatan can still turn this fiasco to their advantage by steadfastly standing by her side. It will not only demonstrate your commitment to her ideals (which are very much yours), it will also show that the party's humanity can rise above its instinct for self-preservation.

In so doing, you will gain enormous goodwill and respect from the people that matter - all decent, honest and fair-minded r akyat who are against this gross violation of a person's privacy.

In so doing, you will show that you can not only talk- you will actually walk the distance.

Show us what you are made of. She is hurt. Reach out to her. Bring her back. The rakyat needs her.

R Sam: I am quite surprised at the speed which Pakatan leaders have reacted to the semi-nude photos issue of Elizabeth Wong. This shows they are sincere in wanting a clean and efficient team of YBs in their stable.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of BN YBs, especially Umno. If any of their members are guilty of any wrongdoing, the party leader will immediately come to the defence of their ‘stars' and insist the accused are innocent until proven guilty.

What's even more disgusting is that they would even retain them in their administrative team even after there are clear evidence of their worngdoing.

Even worse, if they were found guilty and have been out of the party for a while serving their sentence or whatever, they will be allowed to come back and be given top posts.

Muhammad Muhammad Taib and Rahim Thamby Chik are two perfect examples. Need we say more?

On Najib slams Pakatan for linking BN to nude photos

CH Siew: I have been following this event quite closely and I cannot recall a single report that named BN as the culprit for the pictures.

Criticisms were only made against a certain ‘leader' of Umno for his accusation on the ‘immorality' Wong ‘urging' her to quit.

Most people have concluded that Wong's boyfriend is the most likely suspect in taking the photographs and releasing them to the public.

His intention is questionable (if he is the culprit) and it is the people's perception that he is under the influence of a certain political faction. Do the people really need Pakatan to make for them the link to BN?

As a man-on-the-street, I would normally link BN to any scandal that pops up. This is probably because they are behind most of the scandals.

Certainly, if BN had been clean all these while, Najib will have no need to clarify anything because the people wouldn't accept any claim of BN being involved in any scandal even if such a thing happened.

My belief is that Wong's incident involves a resentful boyfriend who was ditched. BN or Umno might or might not have a hand in this. Maybe the boyfriend offered the photos for a price, only BN knows.

However, the more important thing is that BN has a big hole in its reputation and integrity to the level that it lacks the people's trust.

One thing to note is that Najib has also denied his involvement in the Mongolian murder case. It seems to me now that our future prime minister is highly controversial with many scandals tailing him all the way.