Dear Editors,

WP’s Faisal Manap got a tongue lashing from PAP Minister Masagos Zulkifli for repeatedly raising discordant issues (tudung) in Parliament, so my question is why the double standard? Why only PAP MPs are allowed to discuss sensitive issues but an elected Opposition MP Faisal Manap cannot?

In 2016, PAP MP Rahayu Mahzam raised the tudung issue in Parliament and urged open dialogue on the matter.

Madam Rahayu said in the house:

“One other thing that is constantly in the minds of our community is the tudung issue. As a woman who wears tudung, I definitely hope that all women can pursue their career of choice. Hence, I hope this can be reviewed, and flexibility be given where possible, so that there will not be too many barriers for women to choose their own careers.”

She even called for more open discussions on the issue unlike Minister Masagos who believes in working behind closed doors to slowly build progress. Mdm Rahayu said:

“Our efforts in encouraging racial and religious harmony can no longer be at a superficial level of attending each other’s cultural events. We should allow for space to talk about our identities, our religious practices such as the burning of incense paper, the wearing of the tudung, the playing of music during Thaipusam, for example. And there should be open dialogues as such conversations allow for better understanding of each other’s concerns.”

So how is what Madam Rahayu said different from that of Mr Faisal Manap? Just because Mr Manap is from the WP, the Minister take aim at him? Why never chastise Mdm Rahayu when she too raised such sensitive issues in Parliament to “score political points?”

Is Minister Masagos hinting at when WP MP raise such issues, it is to score political points and when PAP MP raise such issues its okay? Double standards are disgusting.

Avery Lee
A.S.S. Contributor

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