* 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.
“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.