Pahang MP sorry for lockdown birthday picnic at the beach

Coconuts KL
·2-min read

A lawmaker representing a district in Pahang state was criticized for holding a birthday bash by the beach in the middle of a COVID-19 lockdown.

Young Syefura Othman, 31, who had celebrated her birthday at a picnic held at the Avani Goldcoast beach in Sepang, Selangor, and posted photos of the mini gathering online has since deleted them after online backlash called her out for picnicking sans masks and safe distancing. Picnics are also banned amid the lockdown, which is currently affecting most of peninsula Malaysia until Dec. 6.

Young, who is a member of the Democratic Action Party, also denied using special privileges as a politician to be able to travel to the beach for the celebration.

“I’m sorry if my actions have violated COVID-19 standard operating procedures,” Young wrote online yesterday. “I did not use my privilege as a member of parliament to travel within Selangor, the state that I reside in. I’m willing to be investigated by the authorities.”

Photos of the celebration over the weekend, complete with a spread of pastries, the birthday cake, and fruits, and at least five people posing without masks, have recirculated elsewhere online. Those who criticized Young said that she should reflect on her actions.

“Please do better YB – you’re carrying the image of the party you’re representing. It’s probably time for a moment of reflection; it’d be a shame if you became out of touch. Ppl don’t like that. It sucks to pander, but you’re a representative of the people. You can always have a nice bday bash next year,” Twitter user @FaizalHamssin said.

“Sometimes over sharing something on IG is not good too,” another known as @Tijanishere chimed in. “Probably best you learn a thing or two about socmed from your other colleagues in DAP. Read the room, please.”

“Wow, one lucky member of the parliament gets to travel between states to celebrate her birthday. Pahang is such a huge state already and yet she goes all the way to Selangor. If it is for work, can’t she just do her job and go home? So insensitive!” @Taeyong wrote.

Young said that she had been traveling between Selangor and Pahang for work. Interstate travel without a police permit is not allowed under the Conditional Movement Control Order even for work.

“Was it really necessary to celebrate your birthday on the beach IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC THOUGH?????????” @Cheftzibah said in reply to Young’s statement on her work travels.

Malaysia has reported a total of 41,181 COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began in February, with 972 new infections yesterday. The death toll stands at 294.

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This article, Pahang MP sorry for lockdown birthday picnic at the beach, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.