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Is selendang just a scarf and nothing more in DAP eyes?

This time there is no bail for selendang shedder Siti Nuramira. She will be detained overnight and brought to the Syariah High Court tomorrow to face charges. (UPDATE: The charges have been dropped and Siti Nuramira released by Jawi.)

Last week when Siti Nuramira was arrested by police, DAP Assistant National Publicity Secretary Hannah Yeoh tweeted how it was rightful that this Malay woman had been speedily arrested for being “offensive” — see below.

The media reported that Siti Nuramira was charged under Section 298A of the Penal Code — see below.

The charge is for causing disharmony, division, etc etc. and carries religious overtones.

The criminal charges preferred against Siti Nuramira cited here are separate from her charges under Federal Territories Islamic law which she will be answering tomorrow in religious court.

Earlier today before her swift rearrest, Siti Nuramira had been released from detention after successfully posting bail.

The response from Dapsters to Siti Nuramira’s appeal for financial assistance had been noticeably muted. Nonetheless, she received “sokongan penderma seluruh dunia” in her crowdfunding effort, reported Berita Harian on Sunday.

So, we now know that some of the RM20,000 donations for Siti Nuramira came from sympathetic foreigners around the world.

Controlling what women wear

Hannah Yeoh tweeted: “Wearing a ‘selendang’ when I visit a mosque doesn’t change my race or faith” (pix above).

And what about Siti Nuramira not wearing ‘selendang’ during her visit to a comedy club? Any “change” or impact on her faith? Most certainly she faces possible dire consequences.

A lot of DAP-Hannah supporters had chimed in last year to say that selendang is not a garment which is tied to Islam. They claimed that when non-Muslims wear selendang, these respectful women are merely showing an appreciation (“menyantuni”) for local culture.

Hannah in her 5 Dec 2021 statement further argued that selendang is also worn inside the gurdwara too, and not limited to masjid dan surau.

Lim Guan Eng and other DAP choirboys echoed Hannah’s argument that various places of worship similarly require visitors to cover their heads.

Extending this line, the DAP-Hannah defenders insist that selendang is not an exclusively Islamic garb. Therefore it is to them an ordinary item of apparel which can simply be put to dual use when one is inside a gurdwara or a church as well.

One of Siti Nuramira’s acts that got her into trouble was removing her selendang on stage in public.

Going by Dapster logic, Siti Nuramira failed to show the proper “cultural appreciation” for selendang ala Hannah.

In a secular country, tossing off the selendang like that may appear distasteful but it will not be a religious offence. So, does DAP still insist that Malaysia is a secular country?

The Malay view is clear cut with no confusion in this matter — Siti Nuramira committed a religious offence.

However the Chinese – 95 percent of whom are ideologically aligned with the DAP – may be a little confused. After all, they said a lot of clever twisty stuff previously when they defended Hannah’s selendang.

Moreover, Cina DAP have been assured that putting on a selendang does not change one’s religious faith.

But what about taking off the selendang? Is this a disrespectfully irreligious act?

And what about the DAP non-Muslim politicians who put it on, take it off, put it on, take it off, put it on, take it off … albeit their removing the selendang is not done on stage, and most probably not in public view.

Last December, Lim Guan Eng said in a statement that it is “extremist and primitive PAS leaders who want to control what women can or cannot wear”.

PAS people want to know from Guan Eng whether he thinks it is only their Islamist party leadership who are “extremist and primitive“ about tudung.

Can DAP tell us if there is anybody else in Malaysia being “regressive“ about what women can wear or alternatively choose not to wear?

DAP repeatedly states that “Malaysia is a secular country”. If we’re really secular as DAP declares, then Siti Nuramira would not charged under religious law — in addition to her prosecution under the Penal Code.



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