A fashion shoot on official government premises did not sit right with many people.
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Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun has been extremely lowkey since the pandemic began, but recently shocked Malaysians with her sudden ‘glow up’.
Just last week, she showed up having drastically lost weight in two months which she attributed to a combination of diet and exercise.
However, she seemed particularly proud to show off her weight loss achievement in a private photoshoot for 2021 Hari Raya baju kurung fashion hosted in her Minister’s office, complete with professional photographers and makeup artists.
Netizens were quick to call her out for the disrespectful use of taxpayer money and the lack of responsibility taken in her role as the Women, Family, and Community Development Minister.
Netizens critized her for focusing more on “glamming up” in the middle of a pandemic, while her ministry seems to have little achievements accounted for since the beginning of the pandemic and movement control order (MCO) last year.
The lack of deliverables from Rina Harun’s ministry comes hand-in-hand with reports of how women and children are severely impacted by the MCO, as women are hardest hit by the pandemic.
Since the pandemic, Malaysians’ mental and physical health taken a drastic toll, as the Health Ministry reported record-breaking numbers of citizens stressed over the pandemic, facing anxiety and other mental health issues. Many felt like this should have been the Minister’s focus instead.
Backlash from peers
Former CEO of the National Welfare Foundation (Yayasan Kebajikan Negara or YKN) Datin Paduka Che Asmah Ibrahim released a public post claiming that Rina Harun’s use of the office space to model 2021 Hari Raya fashion during the pandemic was highly inappropriate.
Once upon a time the ministry on this beautiful 38th floor used to be busy with discussions about policies and laws to protect the fate of Malaysian women, families, children and society.Datin Paduka Che Asmah Ibrahim on Facebook
Che Asmah also notes that when former Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail took on the role, she held meetings and discussions back-to-back with various stakeholders in the very same office.
Additionally, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto has also issued her personal statement, with a scathing criticism of Rina Harun’s priorities during this time. Kasthuri once again reminded the minister about long-overdue Sexual Harrassment Bill, which until today has not yet been tabled.
Kasthuri notes that Rina Harun may not have faced such wide critism on her miraculous makeover if she had invested her position, time, energy, and resources to right what was wrong with the system.
The issue is we need leadership with substance, guts, gumption, intelligence and courage. But all we have seen of you are these dazzling photoshoots which you look good in but that is all there is to it – nothing else.Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.