Press Statement by Wanita DAP Sabah on 13 August 2020:
Wanita DAP Sabah is deeply dissapointed and staunchly condemns the cyber attacks against the potential woman candidate of N. 44 Tulid, Puan Clare Taunek in social media lately. This repulsive tactic with elements of sexualisation, objectification and degradation of a woman politician through attacks on social media were meant to attract negative public perception towards her.
As soon as the word was out that she was one of the potential candidates for the N. 44 Tulid constituency, cyber attacks in the form of obscene words, images and labels with the aim of degrading and shaming her has flooded WhatsApp and other social media.
Following this cyberbullying, Wanita DAP Sabah urges all parties involved in the pre-campaigning period of Sabah State Elections to practice a more ethical and clean politics in trying to win over voters. Online gender based violence are not just aimed at women politicians but also to other women to the point of ‘character assassination’.
Attacks on social media aimed at women will not only give a negative impact on emotions but also the capacity for women to be involved in all field of work.
Puan Clare Taunek when interviewed said that the cyberbullying faced by her lately not only disturbs and threatens the involvement of women in politics but also degrades the democratic practices in Malaysia.
Clare added that the cyber attacks were not only meant to undermine her credibility but it also portrays the lack of serious political will in ensuring our nation’s development in the practice of gender equality, whereby the conventional practice of power being only in the hands of men continues.
Meanwhile, Wanita DAP Sabah Chief, YB Jannie Lasimbang said, “Cyber attacks in the form of gender discrimination through social media are against the democratic principles of Malaysia which values freedom, participation and choice. The attacks will limit the freedom of women even though women is part of the citizen and population of the country.”