Enough with Sexism (10 May 2015)

“She’s not that pretty. In the pictures, she is a little pretty, on television, she is only slightly pretty.” This was a statement made about a woman politician in Malaysia by a public figure. Say it with us, Aiyoh…Wat Lah?

On Sunday, May 10 at Sarang Paloh Event Hall, your favourite spoof Awards ceremony, ‘Aiyoh Wat Lah!’ will be brought to you by The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG).

The ‘Aiyoh Wat Lah!’ Awards, introduced in 2012, is an annual Awards ceremony doubling as a public education tool to raise awareness about the widespread misogyny, sexism, homophobia and transphobia in Malaysia. The annual celebration of ‘Aiyoh Wat Lah!’ is to show that an increasing number of Malaysians refuse to tolerate discriminatory statements or actions from public figures.

‘Foot in Mouth’,’ Insulting Intelligence’, ‘Policy Fail’, ‘Cannot Ignore’, ‘Least Helpful to the Sisterhood’ and ‘Enough Already!’, are six categories in the Awards list. The JAG team trawled the murky depths of media reports from 2014, and has handpicked the very ‘best’ statements and actions vying for a ‘win’ in one of these categories. However, they still acknowledge a glimmer of hope with the category, ‘Right on Track’ for public statements or actions that are right on track, a step forward in gender justice, always welcomed by JAG.

Why the name ‘Aiyoh Wat Lah!’ Simply because ’Aiyoh… Wat Lah!’ is a phrase so familiar to the Malaysian tongue. It comes naturally as an expression of disbelief and even anger in response to bigotry in the media, made worse by the position of the individuals who make such statements.

So, how can you get involved in the ‘Aiyoh Wat Lah!’ Awards? JAG needs your help to make this year’s Awards bigger than ever by casting your vote for the most ‘deserving’ nominees to win.

To vote just hop on to any of the JAG social media sites where you can find the link to the voting and event page (details right). Last year, they had over 1000 responses! Voting closes on April 19.

The annual launch of voting to let the public have their say, culminates in a spoof Awards ceremony at which the ‘winners’ are crowned. Ribena Berry, the alter-ego of actress, comedian and writer, Jo Kukathas, returns this year with her dose of ‘Manglish’ in presenting the Awards, Malaysian style!

So make a date with Sarang Paloh on Sunday, May 10, to join them for an exciting afternoon ‘celebrating’ the worst sexism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia that Malaysia has to offer!

How to vote

Hop on over to any of the JAG members social media page where you can find the link to event page and vote:

@AWAMMalaysia or
@SistersinIslam or
@womensaidorg or

For details and reservations call Perak Women for Women Society 05 546 9715.

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