A friend, S. Tamarai Chelvi of theSun, says she was threatened by two municipal councillors yesterday while she was in court reporting on the Anwar trial. The language used was sexist, vile and racist—all because she asked them to quiet down in court.
The demand that she “wait till she was outside the courthouse” is the language of uncivilised thugs. “Dog”, “black monkey” and “dark-skinned girl” cannot be misconstrued. They may have been “joking” (and I hope they were), but that is no excuse in an adult.
If this is true—I have no reason to doubt Tamarai’s word, but an allegation is not proof itself—then I should like Khalid Ibrahim to do what he must to ensure that they are given a fair hearing. (One of them sits on the Klang Council.)
There is no excuse to use that kind of language on another person, whether or not that person is a journalist. Councillors are civic leaders and as such must set an example; and when they fail do so, let alone set bad examples, public examples must be made of them commensurate with the trust they have betrayed.
If they are found to have done as Tamarai says, they should at least be summarily dismissed.