MCA’s sexist billboards anger Teresa Kok

The Sun
PETALING JAYA (March 3, 2008): All gloves are off. Shame on you MCA for the sexist messages on the billboards in Seputeh.
Those were the words of incumbent Seputeh MP Teresa Kok who is seeking to be returned a third term to the seat.
“I have been refraining from criticising Carol Chew (BN-MCA’s debutante candidate for Seputeh) from day one because I believe in a ‘gentlewoman’s fight’,” she said. “I feel utterly disgusted with the sexist cartoons. It has a hidden message and insinuates that I am a loose woman. Being a woman, Carol Chew should feel embarrassed.”
One of the billboards shows a caricature of Kok, sexily clad in a red dress, hugging “Mr Kinrara” after dumping her old flame “Mr Seputeh”. The tagline on the bottom of the billboard reads: “With loyalty till the end, we will never abandon you. Please vote BN”. (Kok is also contesting the Kinrara state seat for the first time.)
The caricatures were put up in Taman Desa, Overseas Union Garden and Old Klang Road.
“MCA Wanita always claim they uphold women’s rights and dignity. As Carol Chew was (Deputy Finance Minister) Ng Yen Yen’s personal assistant for so many years, hasn’t she learnt anything about defending the rights and dignity of women?
“Or is she prepared to throw that all away to play dirty politics by indugling in such disgusting tactics of sexist character assassination?” said Kok ,who claimed she was told by reporters that Chew, her opponent in Seputeh, had launched the billboard on Saturday (March 1).
“After seeing such disgusting billboards and tactic, I think it’s time I put my foot down and say that all gloves are off.”
Chew said the billboard was not a personal attack and merely reflected the people’s sentiment.
According to press reports, Kuala Lumpur City Hall had not authorised the billboards and are expected to pull them down.
The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) said in a press statement today the billboard trivialised Kok’s work as an MP. “The caricatures set women up as sex objects and are demeaning,” it said.
It called for all members of political parties to attend a mandatory gender sensitisation programmes.
“They are not funny. They demean women and when made in relation to their work, violate their right to a safe working environment,” JAG said.
It asked that political parties conduct their election campaigns ethically, “if not it will only make a mockery of the election process”.