Wednesday July 26, 2017
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Lim said women are accused of being the guilty party in most cases, but there was little effort to empathise with them. — Picture by Choo Choy MayLim said women are accused of being the guilty party in most cases, but there was little effort to empathise with them. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Setiu MP Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh drew flak from civil society groups today with his remark that wives who refuse sex with their husbands are causing them “emotional and psychological” abuse.

Sisters In Islam (SIS) said the Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmaker’s remark in Parliament yesterday had “gravely undermined” the severity of domestic abuse cases in the country.

“The injury and harm experienced by domestic violence survivors should never be trivialised in this manner.

“Marriage is an institution bonded by a union of love and mutual respect, and within that oundaries conjugal rights between spouses should be exercised with love and respect,” SIS told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) president Mariam Lim said women are accused of being the guilty party in most cases, but there was little effort to empathise with them.

“WCC has always believed and recognised what we call marital rape. That means if a woman for whatever reason doesn’t want to and she is forced, that is rape.

“We’re clear on our stand on that,” she said at the launch of Proceedings of the National Consultation on “The Rights of Vulnerable Witnesses” today.

Like SIS, Women’s Aid Organisation communications officer Tan Heang-Lee said women’s right over their body must be the priority and not otherwise.

“Husbands and wives must obtain consent from each other when having sex. Consent must be freely given and cannot be coerced,” she said.

When contacted, former Shariah Court judge and ex-Terengganu mufti Datuk Ismail Yahya had only one word to respond to Che Mohamad’s statement: “Nonsense”.

When debating the Domestic Violence Act (Amendments) 2017 Bill in Parliament yesterday, Che Mohamad said men were generally stronger but were subjected to emotional and psychological abuse when wives withheld sex from their husbands and when they are constantly nagged at.

The BN elected representative said another form of abuse was when a Muslim man was denied permission to marry another woman by his first wife or other wives.

Muslim men in Malaysia are allowed to marry up to four wives at a time, but are supposed to get permission first from his earlier spouses from taking in another.

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