* It’s that time of the year again. I am bombarded with mails about the coming International Women’s Day (March 8). The theme this year is: Ending Impunity for Violence against Women. There are activities, campaigns and articles on the way. Millions of women suffer everyday in the hands of their families, institutions, religions and employers. In our very own backyard, is a woman who had been asked to terminate her pregnancy so that she could continue to work. Now her spouse had been told to stop blogging because he blogs about her plight *

(Pixs: Audra Atkinson, courtesy of Tony Yew)

Blogger Tony Yew, who runs a blog tagged : open discrimination by MAS, had been ordered by the Industrial Court to cease blogging about his partner’s predicament following her termination from Malaysia’s national airline carrier, MAS (Malaysian Airline System).

Yew’s partner, Audra Atkinson was asked to resign within 24 hours in 2003 when she was pregnant with her third child. When she did not, the management terminated her services (Ministry of Human Resources, 2005).

In an email interview with this blog, Yew said his blog told the story of his wife and others who had suffered similar fate. Audra’s case which was to be heard on Feb 21st is now postponed indefinitely.

According to Yew, Judge Badariah questioned Yew’s role, where he admitted being the author of the blog.

(Read also zorro’s and kickdefella on the subject).


“The judge proceeded to order me to REMOVE my blog. I mentioned on record, that I will seek legal advice before proceeding with any action,” he added.

Yew said following the incident, his wife, her lawyer and he had a short discussion. He said he was unhappy with his wife’s lawyer who seemed to be more on the side of the Union.

In his own words, Yew said:

“To your question, we feel abandoned!

( I am using we here, referring to Audra and I whereas, for the record, Audra is not liable for the blog! She has almost no idea of my aggression in posting and the thought provoking questions I have raised through my posting!).

We feel abandoned because, through this episode, no one from the union was available to us.

The Gen Secretary has clearly stated that Audra will not be considered reinstatement. The sad thing is that Audra loves her job, but not necessarily her employers! Because of this entire experience, she has gone through much stress, and her confidence, shattered.
Only since 6 months ago, did she actually find a job!”

Tony and Audra has three lovely girls : (L-R) Caitlyn Nicole, Audra, Allyson Jade and Danielle Marissa.

Tony and Audra, I am lost for words. I can only say this: may justice prevail for both of you and your family. I am with you!

*******************************************************************************

To be fair to MAS, this is their response (in 2005): You be the judge.

Responding to Atkinson’s queries, MAS replied that it is willing to consider her application for a clerical position in the company when such positions are advertised.

MAS had said that Atkinson, who is no longer an employee of the company, had applied for a position meant for internal staff only and hence the application was not considered.

The company does not have any objection if she wishes to apply for a clerical job, subject to the normal application process, which includes meeting the criteria for the job.

On Nov 18, MAS again replied that it is the company’s policy to pick grooming supervisors from existing staff and not outsiders.

A spokesman said she will be considered if there are vacancies and she meets the criteria.

23 responses »

  1. must be part of the successful turnaround plan…..but IWD man gal, kena sokong la 😀 ke ke ke..they fought for our right to work, etc etc…if not we would still have to be “homemakers”.

  2. Jennifer Tai says:

    It is high time someone tried to stir things up with the policy of some Asian airlines to only hire (and retain) physically attractive females to work the ‘friendly skies’. There is really no winning for women who choose to stay in such a profession – and for people who have no choice.

    Have any of these airlines done a poll on how much ‘lengluis’ factor directly into the their bottomline? Seriously, does anybody ever choose to fly SIA or MAS because of these ‘famed flying beauties’?

    It is alarming this kind of discrimination is allowed to happen openly in the name of policy this day and age and I’m not surprised what they will claim to be ‘tradition’. Like the tradition of beating one’s wife to “keep her under control”!

  3. monsterball says:

    Nothing new. Have been going on for decades. Now more brave to reveal and expose famous government monopoly businesses with no ethical and morals rules…..like a jungle. YOU SURVIVE ONLY WHEN YOU TOE THE LINE…ALMOST ON ANY SUBJECT.
    The twist will be twisted to make the couple look stupid and revengeful by their smart lawyers. Can the couple afford same? They will drag the case to squeezed them dry and in the end….lawyers make all the money.MAS CAN AFFORD THE FEES ….CAN THEY??

  4. Kelantan Gal says:

    What?!? I didn’t know they can fire you for getting pregnant. I thought that one would be staffed as ground crew when one was pregnant and then back into the skies again after your maternity leave.

    I admire their courage for standing up. Remember that “Well Behave Women Rarely Make History”!!! You go girl! Fight for your rights as well as for your girls.

  5. […] Malaysian blogger is ordered by the industrial court to stop blogging about his wife’s troubles with her employer. Preetam […]

  6. Rikey® says:

    4 Kelantan Gal
    What?!? I didn’t know they can fire you for getting pregnant.

    Yo Sis they can fire you even if you refuse to make some late night vists to the CEO’s penthouse…. hehehe

    life is hard for a lady!
    sometimes she gives birth to a jack donkey that grows up to fire another mom for being a mom.

  7. Rikey® says:

    “Only since 6 months ago, did she actually find a job!”

    My advise to all don’t luv your job and the company
    LOVE your family and your Life….

    Company only luv you when you work 247365
    but you get love from your family 247365 without working

  8. monsterball says:

    I THOUGHT INDUSTRIAL COURT PROTECTS EMPLOYEES ….PAST AND PRESENT. ARE YOU SURE IT IS INDUSTRIAL COURT? IF SO…THEN THEY MUST HAVE ACTED FOR THE COUPLE AND LOST THE CASE?
    WHY AM I NOT SUPRISE AGAIN.

  9. penangite says:

    perhaps some ppl in MAS jealous of her..maybe she too good looking and blessed with beautiful kids sumore..i wonder how MAS can still be rated 5 star by Skytrax despite all these ‘weird’ stuff…

  10. hmm…pity her…just to save a life,she’s willing to lost her job…what a spirit…hope her be patient for all this thing…

    and for susan,it seems some people doesn’t like when i being friend with you…you can see through a comment in my blog here

  11. monsterball says:

    Well …reading MAS recent response …it looks like they are quite humane and proffesional afterall.
    Goodluck to Audra. I know few very beautiful air hostessess..when reach certain age…were given desk jobs to make way for others..actually no loss in salary status…but opportunity to earn flying allowances… zero.
    Hope MAS remember…..no matter how rich….no matter how powerful…all companies depend on good intelligent staffs…not just loyal and have low in IQ…yet holding high post to play company politics to the highest idiotic fashion for the whole world to see. MAS do represent Malaysian people….don’t forget that.

  12. anonymous says:

    From the response printed here by MAS, and verifying it in the blog by tony, this response from MAS was a hoodwink! They offered the job verbally, put her through the process, as claimed by Tony, but no actual offer!
    From what I read, MAS had also written to the Industrial Relations dept to drop the case, as MAS was in the process to offer her a clerical position. That never came.
    The complaint to Industrial Relations Dept was for wrongful termination. According to the CA, the company has the right to terminate their stewardess if they were to be pregnant for a third time! Ludicrous! If we allow this, it is tentamount to curbing their birth given right!
    SUSAN, tell the world! I hope Audra & Tony will lodge a complaint to UN!
    MAS has made an error. Their CA says that the legislation is to determine favourable conditions at par with the country’s law, which clearly, this CA is not!

    Susan, you are indeed a true journalist, to print the stories of both sides, but please print updated ones. Clearly MAS did not produce a job offer that was genuine.

  13. hasilox says:

    Rickey says:
    “life is hard for a lady!
    sometimes she gives birth to a jack donkey that grows up to fire another mom for being a mom.”

    This is good, rickey.
    Can flash it big on a page!

  14. […] In the meantime, I want to highlight Malaysian journo Susan Loone’s blog entry about MAS firing an employee because she got pregnant again. […]

  15. susan says:

    thanks all for the comments 🙂

    snow soldier….i saw the comment 🙂 thanks for still being a friend 🙂
    btw i am not susan cina, i am susan malaysia 🙂

    tony and audra need our solidarity now, we need to walk with them…

    anonymous, thanks for updating me,,,yes i do need updated stuff..will be glad if people could furnish it like you have…

    i admire tony for standing by his wife in this situation…its really a good example…

    hope all you bloggers out there will highlight tony and audra’s problem…remember it oculd happen to your mother, sister, wife and daughter one day!!!

  16. tq susan for the fact…

    hahahaha…

    we’re not only bloggers united…but Malaysian United…

  17. inmine says:

    Monsterball;

    Not when it involves MAS. If you go thru the cases involving MAS, MAS has the better chance of winning the cases.

    We used to discuss about MAS in our HRM/PM MBA class.

  18. Rikey® says:

    why does everyone gets my nick wrong? ….

  19. susan says:

    hasilox…it’s rikey, not rickey 🙂

  20. hasilox says:

    sorry Rikey®….will get it right from now onwards, up to the symbol
    Rikey®
    Rikey®
    Rikey®…..:)

  21. roy says:

    susan, we somehow lost the freedom of expression in this democratic country… but remember, we never lose our spirit…

  22. Ms J says:

    i am disgusted by the political bullying that takes place in malaysia – if we all rally up and fight this less than subtle attempt to suppress freedom of expression, the government and its allies (such as MAS) will eventually give in. it saddens me to know that even the justice system fail to uphold freedom of expression and seem to be politically biased.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s