(*All quotes are verbatim)
KUALA LUMPUR: A video of a public university forum speaker insulting a student has gone viral on online forums and Facebook.
The 24-minute video showed the speaker - Sharifah Zohra Jabeen, president of little-known women's organisation called Suara Wanita 1Malaysia or SW1M - dismissing a student who stood up to highlight points on Bersih and free education with remarks including "when this is our programme, we allow you to speak' and 'when I speak, you listen".
The forum entitled "Seiringkah mahasiswa dan politik?' (Are graduates and politics aligned?) was held at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in Sintok, Kedah on Dec 8.
The video began with students taking an oath to go against 'deviant culture', 'destroyers of peace', 'street demonstrations' and support 'peace and harmony among multi-racial Malaysians without the interference of third parties'.It then cuts to the student, Bawani KS, who stood up to highlight a court ruling about Bersih and question why Malaysia was not able to offer free education like other countries.
Halfway through, Sharifah cuts her off by incessantly repeating "Listen, listen, listen, listen..." before thanking her for 'having the guts'.
She then asked the crowd: "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?"
Accusing Bersih leader Ambiga Sreenevasan of being an 'anarchist', Sharifah slammed the student for highlighting the need for free education in the country as is done in other nations.She told the student that "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.
She then berated the student for having the 'very least of education'.
"Today each person here has education and today, I'm very sorry that simultaneously, you have proven that you have a very least of pendidikan (education). You know what pendidikan you need? Respect the adults. Always have a differentiation gap between age. That's why you have a mother, grandmother,daughter, child, babies.""Do you think humans have problems? Animals have problems too," she stressed, citing an example of cats that do not get leftovers in restaurants, along with dogs, cows and fish.
'The difference between you and me is a degree and an O'Level. That's all.
"Whatever you say, you are still here (in UUM). If you are not happy, you are very much suitable to go to another university," she said.
Another panelist stood up to interject and she cut him off saying "You know what Peter, I think all these people are tired. Who wants a Galaxy Note (Prizes had been up for grabs at the forum)?" she said.
Angry Netizens began sharing links to a Facebook page said to belong to Sharifah while SW1M's fan page was flooded with angry comments from the public. Some of them are as follows:
Khai Hokage: I think ur president Sharifah should change her field coz she talk about animal better then she talk about democracy. hahaha..
Mohd Syukri Sulaiman: You got degree meh?when you die you also become dust lorh,for God sake,respect other people please?
Jo Ven Teh: Listen listen listen..lights,tv,lifts,leaves and air cond all have problem 2... Listen listen listen ..
SyedAdie Al-idrus: aku rasa esok tutup page nih! (I think it is best to close this page) hahahaha!
James Gan: After watching your speech in the forum suara Mahasiswa, other than the fact that you are older than me, I am not sure what else is worth respecting.
Darren Sim Chee Hui: Hey you racist !!! You better make apologize to the Indian girl...!!! Give you an advice: If you don't respect all races, we won't respect you either !!!!
Akram Ahmar: Presiden paling banggang.... shame on U...u want a respect??? respect others first!!!
Shakir Ameer: and you wonder why your page has very little 'likes' despite the publicity. Shame on you people.
Sunil Rendawa: If this Sharifah Zohra Jabeen character is the head of Suara 1 wanita, You people have a very sad organisation indeed. Headed by an idiot, where do you lot think you are going ?
Abd Hanif Rahmat: sharifah zohra jabeen listen.. listen.. listen.. u degree i no have pmr.. i dont know speak english, but i want u apologise to bavani infront all student uum and must take a video for the apologise.. tell them u wrong that time.. u follow perasaan bila bercakap.. and tak mo listen bavani speak.. take note.. :)Nicholas Cheng Yee Shen: Dear Shafirah, For an individual who is supposed to have possessed a degree and university education, your command of English is rather poor to begin with. I've seen high school students with better command of English than you. If you believe that you are entitled to respect from me, think again. May I remind you, it is because of people like you that this country, this great country of Malaysia, is going downhill. Precisely that.
What do you think of Sharifah's comments towards Bawani? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.
- Universiti Utara Malaysia