Lady claims she has identities of perpetrators involved in controversial Ustazah poll

May 28, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

A netizen behind the Instagram account "@beingbravelywoman" has claimed in her Instastories published yesterday (May 28) that she has the names, dates and details of those involved in the controversial poll sexualising female religious teachers in Singapore.

The lady behind the account is one Noor Mastura, a self-described "serial social activist".

"We have names. We have dates. We have details."

According to a series of posts on Instastories, Ms Mastura claims the perpetrators behind the online poll are "undergrads of prestigious Islamic universities and local Madrasahs".

The data was supposedly part of several months of investigative work done by Ms Mastura and her friends for an unrelated case involving victims of sexual abuse and harassment under the #MuslimMeToo movement.

Information withheld

Ms Mastura did not reveal who the perpetrators are.

According to her rationale, Ms Mastura wants to have a systemic change to get to the root of the problem instead of triggering a media storm that may result in "temporary change".

Ms Mastura also revealed that she has held closed-door discussion with the Mufti and MUIS's CEO to discuss ways to nip the problem of misogyny in the bud.

It is not known if Ms Mastura has shared her information with the police.

Background

The issue came to light after Ustaz Muhammad Zahid Mohd Zin, a popular local religious teacher, said on his Instagram account on Wednesday (May 26) that he was shocked when he received a “distress call” from a female religious teacher about the poll published on MeWe - a Facebook alternative.

Accompanying the post was a picture of the poll ranking at least 12 women, with their names and faces censored.

“Who did this must be held accountable,” Ustaz Zahid wrote.

The incident also drew condemnation from the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (PERGAS), which said that all “sexual harassment, abuse and objectification” was haram, or religiously forbidden.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said it has contacted MeWe to request that it removes the "offending poll if it still remains on the platform".

It has also contacted other social media platforms to ensure the post does not surface there.

President Halimah Yacob and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli are among leaders who called on the authorities to investigate the poll.

In response to CNA's queries, the Singapore Police Force said on Thursday that they have received a report about the poll and investigations are ongoing.

You can view Ms Mastura's full Instastories on the matter here.

S'pore firm develops first Omicron-specific testing kit

Dec 06, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership
Home-grown biotechnology firm BioAcumen Global has launched Singapore's first Omicron-specific Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kit.

This means that a person taking the test will receive one of three results: Covid-19 positive and Omicron positive; Covid-19 positive and Omicron negative; or Covid-19 and Omicron negative.

Currently, PCR kits here that are capable of detecting Omicron require an additional gene sequencing step to confirm the specific variant. This takes an additional day.

Some PCR kits, such as those currently in use by medical technology firm Acumen Diagnostics and biotech firm MiRXES, are able to detect both the Delta and the Omicron strains, but to confirm if a positive case has been infected by Omicron, gene sequencing is necessary.

Mr Jimmy Toh, director of BioAcumen Global, said: "We are looking at ways to cut down the steps and time needed to run this test. This is crucial, especially at the borders where accurate tests need to be done on-site. There is no time to wait on sequencing results to know if a positive sample is infected with Omicron."

Mass production of the kit has begun, and the BioAcumen Global team hopes this kit will provide much needed help locally and in the region for the surveillance and control of this new variant, Mr Toh said.