Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sexist apologizes

Wednesday November 15, 2006
The Star Newspaper
Abu Bakar says sorry over remark

PENANG: After days of lying low in the face of growing anger, Penang Municipal Council president Datuk Abu Bakar Hassan came forward and apologised for his remark regarding the attire worn by a woman journalist at a council meeting. He apologised to the New Straits Times journalist Melissa Darlyne Chow and other quarters for his statement.

After launching World Toilet Day celebrations here yesterday, Abu Bakar distributed a two-paragraph statement, saying that as council president, he took full responsibility for the incident.

MAKING AN APOLOGY: Abu Bakar fielding questions from newsmen at the press conference after the launching of the World Toilet Day celebrations in Komtar yesterday. He said investigations were under way and that disciplinary action would be taken against the control room operator if he is found guilty of any wrongdoing.

But the apology did not stop newsmen from “grilling” Abu Bakar over his statement that the media had misunderstood his remark. Abu Bakar fielded a barrage of questions from reporters.

When contacted, Chow said she accepted the apology and did not wish the issue prolonged. She said she had lodged a police report.

Meanwhile, five journalists and the technician have given statements to police.

Extract of transcript of council president Datuk Abu Bakar Hassan’s press conference.

Q: Dr Teng (state Local Government committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan) has said that you denied making the remark.

A: There is a misunderstanding. I have said in the press release that I apologise if my remark had hurt anyone’s feelings, including Melissa (New Straits Times reporter Melissa Darlyne Chow). I openly apologise.

Q: Can you explain why the misunderstanding occurred? We had asked you whether you thought the reporter was sexily ...?

A: Reply: No ... no ... no. I have explained (in the press release) that it is a misunderstanding ... that is all.

Q: Do you think all the reporters (at the function) quoted you wrongly? We confirmed the remark with you twice.

A: I was talking about the dress code. I said (newsmen) must not wear sexy dresses (to cover council meetings) ... please do not relate this remark to the CCTV incident. I did not say because she was sexy, the incident occurred. I did not mean that.

Q: That day you said “being sexy is the issue ... and then you said if she had worn a normal dress, this would not have happened. We all heard it.

A: My statement was misunderstood. I was only talking about the attire in general. Do not relate it to this case because it is unfair.

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We here you loudly and clear you sexist pig - you are still just repeating your sexist thought that women brought it onto themselves for such incidents to occur. Stop digging yourself a bigger hole and just retreat to an unknown island somewhere off the coast of Penang. Only uneducated people such as yourself cannot see the difference betwen dressing attire and pervertedness!!

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