Walid J. Abdullah: Kudos To Rahayu Mahzam For Raising Tudung Issue But Time Will Tell If She Deserves Community’s Trust

There have been a couple of contrasting reactions towards MP Rahayu Mahzam’s maiden speech in Parliament, in which she urged the government to reconsider its policy on the hijab.

(On a side note, it is interesting to note that MP Faisal Manap has mentioned the same thing before, but rarely gets the same media coverage, and of course, if he did bring up such issues, he would be ‘politicizing religion’, but let’s leave that aside for now.)

The first reaction was to celebrate her courage and bold attitude, raising the issue in her very first speech. Indeed, it is perhaps unprecedented for a Muslim MP to do so.

The second, however, was a more cynical one. Some question whether this was a political show that would amount to no real change.

To be sure, one can definitely understand why the second reaction surfaced: the issue has been raised numerous times before under various conditions. And it always seemed like there was always an excuse to dismiss the requests (‘you were too loud’, ‘you were not loud enough’, ‘there are other important issues’, ‘we must not disrupt harmony’ etc etc etc.) Even senior members of the community like Cikgu Maarof Salleh expressed cynicism at the speech.

For me personally, i prefer to see it in a more positive light. I believe each MP should be judged based on what he/she has said/done, and not merely on the party he/she belongs to. And no one MP will always be flawless or completely hopeless (well, i hope not!): they will have good moments that should be celebrated, and lesser ones that we as citizens can and should call them out for.

As for MP Rahayu herself, she is new and has done nothing so far that warrants our mistrust, so I believe her words should be commended.

Time will tell how much the new MPs truly represent the people and voice their concerns – not just the individual MP’s thoughts – in Parliament. For now, i say, kudos to her.


Source: Walid J. Abdullah

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *