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Malaysia: Female minister of women advises husbands to beat their wives to discipline them, activists demand her resignation

The minister also advised women on how to keep their husbands happy in an Instagram video

Malaysian deputy minister of women, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, is facing the heat from the citizens after advising men to beat their wives to discipline them. The minister, who herself is a woman, had posted a video from her Instagram account on 12th February 2022, in which she had said that husbands should use the “physical touch approach” to punish women for unruly behaviour. This statement by the minister has caused outrage in Malaysian society and people are demanding her immediate resignation.

In the two-minute-long video, the minister had advised the husbands to deal with the unruly behaviour of their wives step by step in which she had described in detail what step to take at what point in time. After this, she has gone ahead explaining to the women how they can keep their husbands happy and when they must talk to him, etc. The video is titled ‘The Mother’s Tips’. 

As per a report by the Independent News, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff told the husbands in her video that they should first speak to their undisciplined and stubborn wives and make them aware of the proper way to behave. She further added that if the wives do not listen to their husbands, then the husbands should stop sharing the beds with their wives.

Explaining further, she had said, “However, if the wife still refuses to take the advice, or change her behaviour after the sleeping separation, then the husbands can try the physical touch approach, by striking her gently, to show his strictness and how much he wants her to change.”

Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff is an MP for Parti-Islam-se-Malaysia. This party is an Islamic party with conservative values. Further preaching to women on how to keep their husbands happy, the minister said in the video, “Speak to your husbands when they are calm, finished eating, have prayed, and are relaxed. When we want to speak, ask for permission first.”

Various activists and women’s rights groups in Malaysia have come together against this statement by minister Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff. They have criticized these remarks saying that this is how one legitimizes domestic violence. The activists are demanding the immediate resignation of the minister.

Joint Action Group (JAG) for Gender Equality has released a statement in which it has said, “The deputy minister must step down for normalizing domestic violence which is a crime in Malaysia as well as for perpetuating ideas and behaviors that are opposed to gender equality. During the movement control order period in 2020 and 2021 alone, there were 9,015 police reports on domestic violence; these statistics may not include reports received by NGOs and other support organizations.”

JAG has further said, “There is often a stigma and fear attached to reporting domestic violence and this is made worse by statements such as those of Siti Zailah.”

It must be noted that Islamic preacher and absconding accused of instigating violence, Dr. Zakir Naik has also endorsed this wife-beating phenomenon through his lectures. He is in Malaysia. Whether it be this Malaysian minister or Dr. Zakir Naik or any other Islamist endorsing wife-beating, it must be noted that the root cause of the notion lies in the holy book which says in chapter number 4 verse number 34, “Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.”

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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