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Friday, January 28, 2011

MC spat: ‘BN grabbing at straws’

The attack on Normala's husband is BN's desperate attempt to tarnish the candidate's impeccable record, says PAS.

LABIS: The latest attack on Tenang candidate Normala Sudirman’s husband Maa’rof Abd Mutalib’s medical leaves, is a desperate attempt to bring up irrelevant issues, said PAS.

“Barisan Nasional looks desperate doing this. They have no way of attacking our candidate, as her record is impeccable, so they are grabbing at straws, ” said Dr Mohd Hatta Md Ramli.

Accusations that Maa’rof, a 45-year-old teacher at SMK Tenang Station, had obtained 21 days of medical leave by questionable means is being flogged by the BN.

Maa’rof was alleged to have taken the 21 days via three medical certificates, and questions are being asked if he was indeed unwell as he is often seen by Normala’s side during her campaign rounds.

Copies of the his medical certificates issued by two government clinics are being distributed in the Tenang constituency and have also been posted on the rival camp’s blogs.

“Maa’rof was suffering from depression, and one of the reasons for this can be attributed to the fact that he was handed a 24-hour notice of transfer from Johor Baru recently.

“Depression can hit someone who loses a family member, or loses his or her job or even given a sudden transfer,” said Hatta, a medical doctor.

Hatta also said that it was wrong and improper if the school had released the MCs as it is supposed to be a private and personal matter between an employer and employee.

“Maa’rof is not bedridden, he is depressed. The best therapy for him is to be close to the ones he loves, and in this case, the person is his wife,” said Hatta, the Kuala Krai MP.

Normala unfazed by attacks

Meanwhile, PAS vice-president Sallehuddin Ayub dismissed claims that Maa’rof, a civil servant, had committed an offence by being involved in politics.

“He was merely accompanying his wife on her rounds to meet voters and was not giving speeches or campaigning on her behalf,” he said.

Normala, clarifying on the latest attack on her husband, said that it was best that the media seek clarification from the doctors who issued the certificates to her husband.

“They can shed light on why the medical certificates were issued. It’s not unusual for my husband to accompany me. He’s a responsible man. He is not immobilised,” she said.

On his health, Normala said: “Thus far, he’s okay… emotionally, he is still okay.”

Normala remains unfazed by the latest attacks on her and her husband. “Voters must be smart; the issue we want to focus on is the candidate’s service, and not on petty things.”

She said that her husband seldom took medical leave as he was a committed teacher who even took time off after working hours to help and attend to students’ problems.

Asked if news of his transfer to another school was part of the reason for his poor health, she said: “Yes. On the same day, one of my children was warded in the hospital.”

Maa’rof was given an order to relocate to Johor Baru within 24 hours for failing to “control his wife” from joining politics. It was later retracted.

Normala, a teacher, resigned from her profession to contest in Tenang. - FMT

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