While most Indians are rejoicing the passing of the Triple Talaq Bill, things are not hunky-dory in Malaysia. The Triple Talaq Bill protects women from the unfair Islamic practice of instant divorce- a practice already banned by Islamic nations including Pakistan- which is being lauded by most citizens.
But while advocates of equality were celebrating this victory throughout the world, a Malaysian MP has sent shock waves throughout the world. Why? Because Mohamad Imran Abd Hamid, an MP with the ruling People’s Justice Party has just proposed a ‘Sexual Harassment Act’ for men in the Malaysian Parliament.
Hamid is of the opinion that the actions, words and clothing of women cause men to commit crimes like rape, incest, molestation and so on. So the men need legal protection in case they broke the law.
And that is not all. The Senate Deputy President Abd Halim Abd Samad, from United Malays National Organisation responded by saying this was a “good viewpoint.”
The fact that this sexist Bill is being supported by fellow Parliamentarians in Malaysia is not only worrying but also puts the girls and women of the country at a much greater risk.
Victims of sexual assault despite getting judicial “justice” fail to get acceptance in the society. Fellow citizens look at them feeling sympathetic to an extent. But never enough to make them feel included in the society. For decades now, women and men alike have been fighting against victim shaming and blaming. What this Malaysian Bill aims to do is legalise just that.
Could you imagine a man stressing in court that a woman’s clothing made him rape her? And the court admitting it as a valid defense?
This is dangerous and should be sending alarm bells ringing throughout the world. Such a legislation surely has the power to set a society back by decades in terms of the equality movement.
What do you think?
EDIT: The MP has now “apologized” and said that he retracts the Bill. But is it enough? The fact that such a Bill was introduced in the first place shows the regressive mindset of law-makers throughout the world. And that, is worrying.