Monday, January 21, 2013

Listen Listen Listen.Sharifah forgives Bawani

Suara Wanita 1Malaysia president Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin has graciously forgiven University Utara Malaysia law student KS Bawani over the ‘listen, listen, listen’ video. “First and foremost, I forgive the young girl in the video for whatever she said and did before, during and after the forum,” said Sharifah in a press statement made available via SW1M spokesperson, Ema Lee Abu Samah’s blog today. She also stressed that she neither condemned university students nor neglected their freedom of speech. In an immediate reaction, Bawani however said: “I also do not remember asking for forgiveness from her as I have spoken the truth to my best ability until being stopped.” She reiterated that she was not seeking Sharifah’s apology and the issue at hand was students’ freedom of expression and right to free education. Sharifah and Bawani have been in the limelight for the past two weeks after a 20-minute video of a forum posted on YouTube went viral on social networking site, Facebook. The video showed the SW1M chief berating the student when the latter raised the issue of free education in the forum last month at Universiti Utara Malaysia. Based on what was recorded in the video, Bawani appeared to be the victim of Sharifah’s patronising and condescending attitude. In a press conference on Friday, Bawani, a second year law student and a PSM activist, said she was not seeking an apology from Sharifah even though many other groups had demanded for an apology from Sharifah.

Video creatively spun
 In her statement today, Sharifah also forgave all the “people who had jumped into the bandwagon and hurled harsh words towards me without checking their grounds or getting their facts right”. Sharifah, a 40-year old motivational speaker, said that the whole issue had gone out of hand because it was creatively spun to raise emotional support for the opposition parties. Terming the video as a “politically altered sensational video”, she said that she has been receiving threats via SMSes from irresponsible individuals, groups and political parties. “Our office was also ambushed and threats were hurled at our doorstep,” she said, adding that she was bewildered by the spin-off affect created by the video with merchandises being sold, ringtones being created and comedies made out of the video. On that note she questioned why her detractors did not highlight the pledge that was read by the UUM students. The students pledged to “oppose culture detrimental to the society, street demonstrations, detrimental foreign elements, and to support peace and harmony without third party intervention.”  

Apology to UUM
Sharifah pointed out that the issue was merely a miscommunication involving her and Bawani and urged the public to view the full video which is made up of four video clips. On that note she apologised to the university that was dragged into the controversy. “In this case the only party whom deserves my sincere apology is UUM. I hereby sincerely apologise to UUM for this matter was totally out of my control by way of irresponsible people turning it into a catastrophe,” she said. She added that the video had eclipsed more pressing issues championed by SW1M, such as student, children and women rights abuse related to street demonstrations and other social ills such as baby dumping, rape and AIDS. This is the first time Sharifah is officially commenting on the issue.

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