It seems in Malaysia that a day or three cannot go by without a local man in a position of authority making a statement that would insult, infuriate, and irritate women and the society in general. You would think that being entrusted with a high office that is important to society’s well-being would make a man take pause and tread carefully when measuring out his words – but sadly, looking at our Dewan Parlimen, you would be mistaken.
Most recently, the culprit was none other than Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, who made a jejune and ill-mannered joke about Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and her surname. Sadly, it was not the first time that he has been found to be a boor – having made similarly degrading remarks in 2008, as well as the promise of physical threats in 2015 – but he doesn’t seem to be getting the memo that that sort of comment is not acceptable, especially in so august a site.
Unfortunately, he was far from the only one to make such salacious statements in public. Kuala Nerus MP Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, who is from PAS, was quoted as saying that raising the minimum marrying age for Muslim girls to 18 years old was “frivolous (“remeh”) and contradictory to the dictates of Islamic syariah. In fact, he claims that marriage “does not necessarily prevent having a career, getting an education and participating in humanitarian activities”.
“On the other hand, marriage strengthens the human right to work and earn a good living,” Khairuddin said, adding that women will be better taken care of when they have a husband. Since he said it with quite a straight face, it probably means that we should have sent him instead of Harith Iskander for the upcoming Funniest Person in the World contest.
Hilariously, this braggadocio comes hot on the heels of a report that men who behave like promiscuous playboys or feel powerful over women are more likely to have mental health problems than men with less sexist attitudes. This was published by the American Psychological Association in its Journal of Counselling Psychology.
Let’s face it, Malaysia’s claims to promote the empowerment of women – which has been a key buzzword for our government for almost a decade now – still ring hollow. Despite the fact that the government has been trumpeting the statistics showing Malaysia’s female labour participation rate (FLPR) climbing to 54.1% in 2015, it’s still a far cry from being able to say that the glass ceiling is shattered, what with women increasingly suffering from domestic violence, sexual harassment, or even just plain having their opinions listened to with an open mind.
Well, we have plenty of ladies who show that the lack of a Y chromosome won’t stop them from proving that Malaysia Boleh. Lawyer Siti Kassim has managed to strike a blow for Muslim rights merely by raising a finger, whilst Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Maria Chin Abdullah are mighty magnificent when it comes to advocating for a clean slate.
Yuna proves that being a massive international popstar can happen while staying true to modest Muslim roots, while Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong won the first silver medal for the country during the recent Olympics. Additionally, it was the Malaysian female contingent that recently won the World Dodgeball Championship.
So, boys – and you Malaysian misogynists certainly are not mature enough to be called men – please do watch your mouth and manners, because the people you denigrate also include your own mothers, who really should stuff your mouths with cili api. And if you find that remaining civil in the Dewan is too much, perhaps you should resign – since it has been proven in Malaysia that quite often, it takes a woman to do a real man’s job.
Source : Ahmad Azrai @The Heat Malaysia Online