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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Allow Elizabeth Wong to find her peace of mind

IF I were to ask all the men reading this whether they have seen a woman in the nude, the answer will be obvious.

If I were to ask them whether they have ever seen photos of naked women, the answer is bound to be more divided. Why, it is morally and religiously wrong (for some) to view images which are deemed inappropriate or pornographic.

My posers may sound rude and out of line to some but to those who think of it as ‘sound and intelligent’ questions for the sake of argument in a discourse on sex, that’s no big deal.

Hey, Adam saw Eve for the first time in the nude. In fact, they were both naked. God must have a reason for allowing that to happen. The naked body is meant to be appreciated and respected.

The woman’s body, in all shapes and sizes, is unique and beautiful. It has been described as one of nature’s most accomplished creations to walk the surface of the earth.

For those women who hate their bodies for whatever reasons, hear this from a man - you are all unique and beautiful. So be happy and satisfied with what you have, no matter how imperfect you feel and think it is.

Angelina Jolie once said that she is lucky enough to be with a man who looks at her body and loves it for the journey that it has gone through. Apparently, Brad Pitt truly loves her - never mind that her body was ‘well-journeyed’ (in Angie’s own words).

To most of us, viewing a nude image is nothing. In fact, we do not want to talk about it even if we accidentally come across such photos. Really, it’s no big deal.

In the case of poor Elizabeth Wong - her semi-nude photos are nothing to talk about if she were not an elected representative. She is a public figure only because she sought and was elected to public office and this is where the line has to be drawn.

So much has been said and written about her pre-dicament and like the majo-rity of you, I sympathise with her. It’s easier when you know her personally.

Like me, Eli as she is known among her friends was a guest columnist in the local media. Some three years ago, I was editing her article and she wanted to make some alterations. Over the phone, she kept blaming herself for not choosing the correct or more appropriate words in her article. I thought her choice of language was good enough but she insisted on the closest meaning - this was much appreciated by me. When I told her then that “this is an imperfect world”, Eli replied that “we should try to perfect it.”

My impression of Eli was that she is a perfectionist. It has been said that one’s character is a reflection of one’s writing. When you take so much pride in your writing and want every sentence to be ‘spick and span’, the perfectionist character must be in you.

Sadly, Eli made some mistakes in her private life - her love life to be more precise. Those of us who know her and the good work she has been doing, both as an NGO activist and a politician, would wish that she was also a perfectionist in her private life.

But love is blind. Even a strong character like Eli is vulnerable. Why not, she is a perfectly normal human being and a woman who needs love and is entitled to her intimate moments of great privacy. She is also entitled to her fair share of mistakes in her love life too - no one can deny her that as well.

Was Eli’s problems the result of the action of a spurned lover bent on revenge or was it dirty politics at work?

Everyone has their say on the matter. While both causes are possible, I find it rather sad if it was really the work of politicians or their agents. What has become of our politics in recent years? It doesn’t matter which side is responsible - it is pure gutter politics!

What I also find interesting is the way PKR started blaming Umno immediately after Eli’s photos emerged in the public domain. So it was political from the start. Yes, but who is really responsible if it was politically motivated - Umno or PKR’s own people.

Remember Dr Chua Soi Lek’s video scandal. It is quite clear that it was an internal MCA problem and Dr Chua’s sex scandal was the work of his enemies within the party. Rightly, Dr Chua did not blame DAP or PKR for his downfall.

Let me say this, I’m no fan of a lot of people inside both camps. But I wish that politicians would stop pointing an accusing finger at their political opponents the moment they ran into problems - particularly those of a personal nature. Look first at yourself, then at the people in your own party. Only if you have ruled that out, then investigate your political opponents.

Another point I wish to emphasise is that the media should be responsible and not misuse their power when distinguishing whether Eli’s personal life has an impact in the public sphere.

Media practitioners should carefully weigh how they present this information. My take on this is that it is borderline between privacy and freedom of the press. However, in Eli’s case, it is clear that she is the victim and this fact must be presented.

But let’s make one thing clear. Let there be no double standards about this sleaze politics. If Eli must pay with her blood, then let all politicians holding public offices who are caught with their pants down pay the same price - step down.

Eli is unfortunate too in that her case is further complicated by the fact that her former boyfriend is Muslim, and is subject to Islamic laws on morality, such as those on close proximity.

It is true that Eli has broken no law legally but unfortunately, there is a segment of Malaysian society who views premarital sex as a sin.

Then comes my final question - how many of you reading this have never indulged in premarital sex. I think I can almost see red faces everywhere.

So what’s the big deal with photos of women in the nude. Catch my drift!!!


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Nothing Very Special, Just A normal person who seek for his bright future.