Who Is Howard Lee? Find Out Why He’s Trending And Why The Ipoh Timur MP Speaks In A British Accent
Howard Lee Chuan How told doctors to give the government time to solve “legacy” issues, despite rising anger in the health service across professions.
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Over the last few days, a clip of an interview by CodeBlue has been making its rounds across social media, garnering various comments from netizens.
The two minute video showcases an interview conducted by CodeBlue news site editor-in-chief Boo Su-Lyn with DAP’s Ipoh Timur MP Howard Lee on whether he supported strike action in the public health service, how long he would urge health care workers to wait for even just one solution before organising a walkout, whether he supported doctors’ demands to raise their weekend on-call claims to RM25 per hour, and whether he acknowledged that the public health service is in crisis.
In the video, Lee was criticised for the way he spoke and his seemingly arrogant body language.
Born in Ipoh, Lee attended SRJK (C) Poi Lam until primary 6. He then continued his secondary education at Great Yarmouth High School and Technology College, United Kingdom, and completed a BTEC National Diploma in Science at Great Yarmouth FE College in the East of England.
Netizens were quick to pick up on Lee’s accent, with many calling the video “hard to watch” due to his body language and tone.
Many also questioned Lee’s position to answer the health care related questions.
Wanita Pakatan Harapan tweeted:
We may disagree with the tone and the manner the questions were answered, but why would a backbencher MP have to answer for what should be the job of officials in @KKMPutrajaya? @codebluenews should interview @DGHisham and MOH officials who have been at the helm all these years.Wanita Pakatan Harapan via Twitter
Twitter user @Cashisnotking1 too questioned Lee’s position to be interviewed.
The health minister should be interviewed for these questions, not him. As an MP, who has no authority, he can express his view and fight for the ideas, but you can’t expect him to be too task specific or give assurance of outcome.@Cashisnotking1 via Twitter
Many also called out Lee’s behaviour and tone towards the interviewer.
Twitter user @TheFuturizts described the video as “disgusting to watch”.
Malaysia’s healthcare is at the brink of collapse, yet this MP arrogantly proposes the doctors to ‘give more room’ to the government to sort things out. From his body language, you could tell that this guy is just so full of himself.@TheFuturizts via Twitter
Another Twitter user @chairman_GLC too shared his disgust towards Lee’s tone of voice.
This is disgusting @howardlee_my. Your body language is so unprofessional. Your tone is condescending. I’m so embarrassed by this video clip. You could’ve done so much better.@chairman_GLC via Twitter
Besides that, freelance journalist @TehminaKaoosji tweeted:
Tone policing female journos is everyday sexism that male politicians and other authority figures are comfortable with- especially judging by appearances in the clip. Obviously there’s power distance between👨🏻 politician (male)/ 👨🏻 journo (male)- but rarely is the insouciance this nonchalantly pronounced.@TehminaKaoosji via Twitter
On the other hand, while Twitter user @azmanrocks first criticised the snippet of the interview, he then tweeted urging netizens to read the whole transcript of the interview before attacking Lee.
Update: I just read the whole interview transcript. I think the energy emanated by Howard was directed at Boo Su-Lyn and not the healthcare workers. So if my views rubbed off wrongly on Howard, then I beg Howard for pardon. I urge people to read the whole transcript.@azmanrocks via Twitter
Lee also responded to netizens via Twitter saying:
When one fishes for a response by emotionalising and weaponising the future of HCWs and the welfare of their families and health of their patients; I refuse to answer. I’ve been consistent in highlighting the problems faced by HCWs; the manner the question is asked is the manner I respond.Ipoh Timur MP Howard Lee
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