MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid, the eldest daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, says she was once a street fighter in support of Anwar Ibrahim when he was sacked as deputy prime minister in September 1998.
At that point in time, Ahmad Zahid was Anwar’s right hand man, being Umno’s national Youth chief, and was also detained under the Internal Security Act and released after he pledged his loyalty to Umno.
As she grew older, Nurulhidayah’s perception of street rallies has changed. She now says that taking part in them was the “biggest mistake” of her life.
She feels that street rallies are all wrong as there are more suitable platforms and venues for people to express their views and publicise their dissatisfactions against the government.
When she saw her friends in social media wearing yellow and promoting Bersih 4, she did not chide them, but instead reacted emotionally, saying “these people are stupid”.
Her post, which was featured on Facebook, was intensely criticised by Bersih supporters, earning her the title “Miss Viral”.
Nurulhidayah now admits that uttering the word "stupid" was a “knee-jerk reaction”.
“I was emotional then, I know people caution us not to make statements when we are angry.
“But tell me, who does not say the word stupid when they feel angry?” she asked at a meeting with about 80 BN Youth Volunteers in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam, last night.
Nurulhidayah cited an example when people uttered the word ‘stupid’ when faced with a lousy driver or bully on the road.
“If you have never said such a word, you are lying.
“Or am I banned from saying the word ‘stupid’ just because I am the DPM’s daughter? So where is my freedom of speech, as often claimed by certain quarters?” she asked as those in the audience clapped in support.
‘Join the police force’
Nurulhidayah is aware that as a Muslim woman, she should have been a little more polite when describing others in a public space.
“But I also asked myself: If these protesters are so brave, if they could be on the streets and if they loved their country and wished to defend it, why not become soldiers?
“I am not saying this because I am a soldier (in a voluntary group, Wataniah), you can join the police force or public defence unit, to show you are part of Malaysia,” she said.
Nurulhidayah explained that she commented on Bersih not to “heat things up” as her father, who is also home minister, had declared it illegal.
Among other demands made during the mammoth Aug 29-30 rally by the election reform movement is for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to resign over alleged financial scandals involving the 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation in his private bank accounts.
“I merely wanted to share my experience with others about being used by certain quarters, as I was a victim in 1999, when I was used by a group of people claiming to seek justice,” she said.
At the time, Nurulhidayah was a student at Universiti Putra Malaysia in Serdang, and was involved in the campaign to demand that the University and University Colleges Act of 1971, which curtailed students’ political freedom, be abolished.
She was then trained to be a public speaker and debater, by reformasi leaders, including well-known social activist Hishamuddin Rais.
‘We were instilled with hatred for Mahathir’
“We were then taught and instilled with hatred for the leadership of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” she said.
“There was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at the time, only tabloids and newspapers,” she added.
Nurulhidayah said she joined “street politics” as she thought it was good to speak out and let others listen to what she had to say.
She spoke at Pasar Seni and Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur, which were popular gathering points of the reformasi rallies, and was unfazed even when she was chased by Federal Reserve Unit personnel or men from the Special Branch.
“At that time, no one knew whose child I was,” said Nurulhidaya, who is the Corporate Communications Department head at SPNB.
But just as she opposes Bersih, she is also firm in not supporting demonstrations, including the red shirts who came out in support of Najib at the racially-charged rally on Malaysia Day, saying “it is not nice”.
“Politics should be determined by national elections that are fair, transparent and equal,” she said.
She disagreed with the red shirt rally, which ended up as racially slanted and violent, even though the protesters wanted to show their strength to defend Malay rights.
“Foreigners and foreign media are looking at us, saying we are in chaos, and thinking that our leaders cannot govern the country properly, that security here is very laxed,” she said.
She also criticised Bersih for not saying ‘thank you’ to the Home Ministry for not acting against the protesters by drenching them with chemical-laced water, which she said she herself experienced during Mahathir’s rule.
Nurulhidayah attended the “Hello YB2…Women in House” event organised by BN Youth Volunteers.
Penang Opposition leader and Umno’s Telok Ayer Tawar assemblyperson Jahara Hamid was also present at the two-hour session. - M'kini

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.