Politicising personal morals

(The Nut Graph) OF all the things to politicise out of Teoh Beng Hock's death, why touch his fiancée and his unborn child? This is what has happened, after it emerged that Soh Cher Wei was two months' pregnant and wanted to register Teoh as her child's father.


Wanita MCA then issued a public statement asking the National Registration Department (NRD) to make an exception in Soh's case. Birth registration rules require both parents of a child born out of wedlock to be present in order for the father's name to be included in the child's registration. Obviously, it would be impossible for Teoh to be physically present. In any case, both their families knew of the couple's intention to register their marriage on 17 July 2009, the day after he was found dead.

I find it hard to understand why Wanita MCA opted to make a public statement, when they could have negotiated behind the scenes. Was it to gain political mileage? Perhaps to wrest back public attention from the Justice for Beng Hock campaign launched by the Pakatan Rakyat?

Wanita MCA's press statement resulted in a racial and moralistic backlash by an Utusan Malaysia columnist. Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee is by now infamous among non-Bahasa Malaysia-reading media consumers for his weekend columns lamenting the decline of Malay Malaysian power.

Teoh's family has demanded an apology over the column Nasib Melayu di Bumi Melayu, where Ridhuan implied that Teoh was of low morals since he fathered a child out of wedlock. He wrote that other non-Muslim religions would not condone what Teoh and Soh did.

The writer also criticised the MCA for taking up the cause of "bastard children", implying that it would affect Malay Malaysians as well, since, according to him, there were many Muslim girls who were co-habitating with their partners and having children out of wedlock. "How many more illegitimate children do we wish to legitimise?" he wrote.

Read more at: http://www.thenutgraph.com/politicising-personal-morals