A Malaysian senator has proposed the introduction of a sexual harassment law which would protect men from being ‘seduced’ into committing crimes, such as rape.
Senator Mohd Imran Abd Hamid, from Malaysia’s People’s Justice Party (PKR), said women can ‘seduce’ men into committing sexual harassment crimes due to the clothes they wear, their actions and words.
The senator stated his point of view to ministers during a debate about a Federal Territories bill in the Dewan Negara, the upper house of parliament in Malaysia, last month.
As reported by MalaysiaKini, the senator – a retired Navy admiral – said:
I propose a Sexual Harassment Act to protect men from the actions, words and clothing of women, which can cause men to be seduced to the point they can commit acts such as incest, rape, molestation, (watching) pornography and likewise.
This is important, we (men) need to be protected. The actions, clothing of women can seduce us into breaking the law and causing us to be charged (with a crime).
I ask that the minister consider this so that the men in this country are safe, and the country is peaceful.
The senate deputy president, Adb Halim Abd Samad, reportedly responded by saying it was a ‘good viewpoint’, however his comments did not go down well with his own party, as other PKR members distanced themselves from the proposal.
Subsequently, PKR’s president, Anwar Ibrahim, issued a statement which rejected the minster’s proposal, calling it ‘absurd and an insult to women’, Channel News Asia reports.
Mr Mohd Imran Abd Hamid himself then issued an apology for his remarks, saying:
I apologise to all who were offended by my debate, where I proposed a sexual harassment law to protect men during the debate on Syarie Legal Profession (Federal Territories) Bill 2019 on Jul 31, 2019 at the Upper House.
Although my intention was sincere, I did not expect it to be seen as such a big mistake that hurts the feelings of many women and also men, who feel insulted.
I apologise a million times and retract my proposal.
As well as calling the proposal ‘absurd’ and ‘insulting’ to women, PKR’s president Anwar Ibrahim said:
The proposal also gives the impression that men are immoral and are easily seduced to the point that they could be involved in such a despicable act.
The minister instead said efforts should be made to strengthen laws which reject any form of sexual harassment against women.
According to reports, this is not the first time senator Mohd Imran Abd Hamid has made such remarks. In 2015 he allegedly said the ‘sexy attire’ of athletes could lead to ‘illicit sex’.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.