Rais’ proposal that women get permission to travel alone slammedPosted: May 5, 2008
See? Dr Rais Yatim, Foreign Minister should have thought about this more deeply before he put his foot into this hole. Now everyone is screaming at him for coming up with such a ridiculous proposal. Read here.
Travel consent plan slammed
PETALING JAYA: The proposal by the Foreign Ministry for women planning to travel overseas alone to get the consent of their family is an infringement of women’s rights, Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said.
The Women, Family and Community Development Minister said the proposal was not the right thing to do.
“The ministry does not agree to this. I understand that Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim meant well and wanted only to protect Malaysian women in light of the sudden rise of women used as drug mules by international syndicates,” Dr Ng said.
“But I do not agree to this,” she said.
She added that issues such as identifying the syndicate, understanding why women were being lured into drug trafficking and checking their backgrounds were vitally important.
“We need to look at the core of the problem,” Dr Ng said, adding that she will be discussing the matter further with Dr Rais.
Women’s Aid Organisation executive director Ivy Josiah said the proposal made women look weak and incompetent in making decisions.
She said the proposal would violate women’s equal rights as guaranteed by Article 8 of the Federal Constitution and the United Nation’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women treaty ratified by Malaysia in 1995.
Full article here.
If he had thought it through, he would have seen this coming. It was an insult to the women in Malaysia, who make up 51% of the population. Not good.
But one thing though, didn’t this proposal come after discussions between the Foreign Ministry and the Home Ministry? So where is Syed Hamid Albar in all this? Surely, as Home Minister, he would have something to add?
Found this letter to the editor of the Star. It should probably be addressed to both Dr Rais and Syed Hamid as well.
Family consent proposal is idiotic
I am flabbergasted and totally outraged that the Foreign Minister saw it fit to discriminate against Malaysian women travelling abroad alone by proposing they need family consent first.
It immediately brought to mind several questions. What are the rights of an adult Malaysian woman compared to that of an adult Malaysian man? Why single out local women and not local men travelling alone?
Is the Foreign Minister implying that local men have not been hauled up in foreign courts for smuggling drugs? Are local women perceived by the Foreign Minister to be more feeble-minded and naive than men?
Surely as adults, one should be held accountable if one breaks the law. What if the woman is 30, 50 or 70 or older and travelling alone? Does she require family consent to travel abroad alone?
Who constitutes family? What if she is an only child and her parents have died?
What was the learned minister, and a lawyer at that, thinking?
How about trying to educate the public on the dangers of being used as mules for drug smugglers regardless of gender for a start?
With such an idiotic proposal, gender equality in Malaysia is set to take 10 steps backward.
University of Queensland, Australia.
What are your answers, Ministers?