Netizens give "listen, listen" UUM speaker an earful

PETALING JAYA: Besides harsh criticism, netizens have reacted to a video of an NGO leader snatching the microphone away from a university student by creating comical Internet memes, songs and even dance remix versions of the video.

Users ridiculed the leader for repeating the word “Listen” seven times to stop the student from speaking and for comparing the issues raised, such as free education and street protests, to the “problems” faced by animals.

“Even sharks have problems.

“Have you eaten shark fin before? Have you seen how people throw the shark back into the sea to die. See how humans are more greedy than sharks?” asked the speaker, Suara Wanita 1Malaysia (SW1M) president Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin in the 24-minute video.

Controversial singer Namewee was among those who came up with a parody of the video, while another user posted a catchy dance remix version called “Listen! Listen! When I Speak, Listen!”

The original video, which was uploaded on YouTube last week, shows a student, who wanted to be known only as Bawani KS being interrupted by Sharifah, who was a guest speaker at the forum held in Universiti Utara Malaysia on Dec 8.

Sharifah told Bawani to leave the country if she was not happy in Malaysia.

“Don't compare Malaysia with other countries. If you compare, what are you doing in Malaysia?

“Go to Cuba, Argentina, Libya, go everywhere. Because, you know what? All the students in this hall are happy with whatever the government does for them,” Sharifah told the student in the video.

When contacted, Bawani, 27, who is currently pursuing a law degree, said the speakers had promised a “Q&A” session after the forum but did not allow more than two questions.

“I did not agree with some of the views expressed by the speakers and wanted to share my own. However, she cut me off while I was speaking, and said that I was being rude,” she said.

The video even attracted the attention of Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah who called Bawani.

“Even if the speaker did not agree with Bawani, she should not have spoken down to her in such a condescending and patronising way,” said Saifuddin when contacted.

On Twitter, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin refuted claims that SW1M was linked to Barisan Nasional, saying he had never even heard of the group.

“Please listen to me, this lady does not represent Barisan,” he said.

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