Women to ask for permission before flying?Posted: May 4, 2008
What has Malaysia come to? Seriously. For the Foreign Minister, Dr Rais Yatim to come up with a proposal like this is just ridiculous.
Ministry wants women going abroad alone to get family consent
KUALA KLAWANG: Local women intending to travel abroad alone may need family consent in a bid to prevent them from being used as “drug mules” by international syndicates.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said a proposal to this effect would be made soon to the Cabinet, following several incidents where women were used to smuggle drugs overseas.
Out of 119 cases of Malaysian women hauled up before foreign courts, 90% were linked to drugs, he said.
“Last night, my ministry, together with the Home Ministry, have jointly forwarded a report to the Cabinet on the matter.
“Both ministries agreed that factors like family, religion, immigration laws and preventive measures need to be considered before a Malaysian woman goes abroad alone,” Rais told reporters after officiating at the Malaysian Silambam Association’s Jelebu branch here yesterday.
On the proposed requirement for family consent, he said it would enable the woman’s family to monitor her departure and serve as a preventive measure against her being duped by international drug syndicates. – Bernama
Has Dr Rais gone nuts? How is this even going to stop drug smuggling? I plan to fly overseas, I get my parents to sign a form/letter, and I go to the airport. If I’m naive enough to take on something from a stranger at the airport, how are my parents, who have signed the form/letter going to control that?
Besides, it can’t be only women who are caught carrying drugs overseas. Surely there have been men too. So why not suggest that these men also get their parents’ consent?
But I really don’t see this proposal contributing anything for the cause. If they want to curb drug smuggling by naive people (men and women alike), then educate these people, for crying out loud! What is going to be achieved by restricting their freedom to move as they like?
Grown men and women DO NOT ask for their parents’ permissions to do a lot of things. Why would they need permission to fly? And again, is the Ministry trying to imply that if a woman has the permission of their parents, then they wouldn’t get duped into carrying drugs unknowingly?
For the people (men and women alike) who have been caught smuggling drugs overseas, it’s not because they didn’t first get their parents’ consent before flying. It’s because they were naive, and not aware enough of the possibilities of this kind of case. I’m sure there are tons of other people who have never unknowingly smuggled drugs anywhere who never had their parents’ consent to fly. Some of these people might have been running away from their parents, but were never caught carrying drugs.
Getting permission from your family before flying is not going to prevent things like this from happening, if the person is not aware of it themselves. And don’t make it sound as if it only happens to women. It’s degrading, and it will get a lot of women riled up.
National Council for Women’s Organisations Malaysia (NCWO) deputy president Faridah Khalid describes the proposal “backward and unfair” and an infringement of our rights.”
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.
“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.”
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.
Found this on Kak Ton’s blog here.