Sunday, 4 May 2008

Women's groups express outrage...

...over the proposal by the Foreign Ministry that women leaving the country alone be required to have declarations from parents or employers stating the reason for their travels. (read here, here and here)

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said yesterday he had submitted a proposal to the cabinet.

The proposal drew flak from non-governmental and women's organisations, with their representatives making clear their outrage.

Here's what they say:

National Council for Women's Organisations Malaysia (NCWO) deputy president Faridah Khalid (pic. left) describes the proposal "backward and unfair" and an infringement of our rights."

"We're the victims and now you're creating more problems.Why must you put more restrictions on women? We have worked hard over the years to get to this level."

Faridah said the government should think it out properly before taking such measures."Sometimes, ministers make suggestions and decisions in haste."

Sisters in Islam programme adviser Norhayati Kaprawi saw the proposal as an "over-reaction" to a problem which could be tackled in a different way.

It's not only a violation of women's rights but also a violation of human rights," she said.Norhayati said the proposal contradicts the concept of Islam Hadhari, which the government has been advocating.

"Why is the proposal directed only at women when there have been many cases which involved men?"I'm shocked that a former deputy law minister is coming up with such a suggestion

Both Faridah and Norhayati felt that awareness and education were the best ways to deal with the issue.

Tenaganita programme officer S. Florida said such a policy would not solve the real problem.

"We are only pushing the issue under the carpet and not recognising trans-border crimes where women are being used as easy targets, which is equitable to forced labour or even prostitution."

Faridah said the only way to handle the problem was through the implementation of the anti-trafficking law and international co-operation especially on enforcement.

She said the victims should not be blamed as the bigger culprits were the traffickers and the men behind the syndicates.

"Besides, thousands of people travel daily. Who is going to scrutinise the declaration as anyone can forge their parents signature? It is just not practical."

Malaysian Indian Businessmen Association president P. Sivakumar said the Government should target the syndicates and clean up the system instead of focusing on the victims

"Go all out to attack the syndicate and unscrupulous agents who try to smuggle drugs. Wipe them out, for as long as these people are around, they will entice more women. More awareness is needed to curb the problem."

Sivakumar said the declaration was all right for minors travelling alone but it cannot apply to adults as it infringes on their freedom and rights.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen (pic above: right) said she would speak to the Minister and also get feedback from the NGOs.

Dr Ng added that from a personal viewpoint, she agreed that it was an infringement on women's rights, but added that there were always two sides to a coin and one needed to look at the bigger picture.

MIC Puteri chief Usha Nanthini said the proposal was too vague, adding that there was a need for finer details and practicality to be looked into.

She said, however, that the proposal was generally good as it took into account the safety of Malaysian women. - The NST

11 comments:

bagang said...

Can Datin Maznah give her husband a tight slap on his face?

You know why? Because he has insulted our - yours, incuded Datin - intelligence.

Am appalled. This stupid idea coming from someone who was once a deputy Law Minister. How is this proposal gonna help solve the proplem.

Have women who intend to travel need to fill up a form?

What if a woman doesntt get the consent of her parents?

Can she travel. Will she be committing an offence under the law (and what law?)if she goes without parental consent?

Why cant Ministers think before they speak. What more... come up with such a stupid proposal.

Anonymous said...

Just wonder when our new Tourism minister when going oversea, does she need a letter of approval from PM or her parents?

novice101 said...

The next proposal he will be making is that all women be given chastity belts when they go abroad. All these ideas are very foreign to us but not to him! That is why he is the foreign minister.

GobloKing said...

thks for posting this; saves me a bloglashing piece!

I can understand we need to protect young women fr carrying drugs to earn $$..and yes it is tragic that a few of our young women (0.001% of the population of young women?) are caught in foreign countries doing this.

But what is the root of the problem?
lack of family, & society moral guidance?

too many drug pushers?

insufficient law enforcement officers?

lack of career opportunities?

lack of educational opportunities?

But taking away the rights of 99.99% of young women?

What if this were to happen to
- old men & old women?
- young men?
- middle aged men & women?

In the end, will we have to start writing letters for each other?

or will our kind police state do this for all of us?

or a whole new ministry set up to do this + vet our police record + get a letter from our religious leaders before allowing us out?

WOW..I think I've just uncovered a whole new area for us to cari makan!

Michelle said...

Kak

This law is ridiculous. What good is it going to do?

It's not going to help in any way at all. End of story.

Anonymous said...

So what now?

We, womam travellers, have to carry, besides our passport, an original consent letetr and submit it to the immigrations, at the airport?

Dear Datuk Rais, whar are you thinking?

Anonymous said...

Rais Yatim's is senile and bodoh nak mampos.

Recently he commented that if Ahmad Said accepted the MB'S post from the Terengganu rulers council he(Ahmad Said) will "jatuh macam nangka busuk).

Shameless idiot!!

fed-up said...

Let me ask Dato Rais abt his "bright" idea.

How is this proposal of his going to work.

What if a woman has no parents, both are decesead? Her next-of-kin?

If she is married whose consent should she ask for? Her husband or her parents assuming that all concerend parties are still alive.

If she is single? Where & who does she ask for consent?

I think this is a bloody stupid proposal.

What are you trying to do dato? Cage us?

Just reflect the "kolot" mentality you have.

Why are you taking us back to the dark ages?

I am a woman said...

STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!

RAIS, YOU HEAR ME?

tsk said...

If you have nothing intelligent to say, you better shut up.

This orphaned Rais is typical of an Umno leader who is bankrupt of ideas.

Truly half-past six!

sally said...

I think he's very concerned about us women travelling alone in case we'll be "altantuya-ed" in some foreign countries.