Thursday, December 29, 2005

Can we have a better deal for women in 2006?

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - that is the gift of God.
(Ecclesiastes 3 :12-13)

The year 2005 is coming to an end. What could I wish for Malaysians in 2006? I guess, as a Malaysian woman, I would like to wish for fairness and a better deal for our womenfolk, and oh yes, more respect from our male parliamentarians and legislators if it's not asking too much.

It seems to me like some Malaysian male politicians from the ruling party do not have much respect for our womenfolk going by the kind of crass and demeaning jokes and remarks frequently directed at us and our female representatives in Parliament. And the latest Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2005 is another step backwards for our Muslim sisters who, even prior to the introduction of this discriminating law, have consistently bore the brunt and suffering inflicted upon them by their men who have managed to manipulate every single avenue available to them legally to absolve themselves of their responsibilities. Such laws do nothing to protect married Muslim women from abuses and neglect if their husbands choose to abandon them for someone else. And now, they stand to be impoverished further with the passing of this Bill. I mean, women have always been labelled the weaker sex, that we need more protection, hopefully from the stronger sex. And some pertinent aspects of this Bill clearly works against the interests of women. Does all this make any sense at all?

I am perplexed as to how such a Bill could have even been drafted and approved in the first place. Obviously, the people behind the drafting must have been an all-male ensemble. That the 12 women senators objected vehemently but ultimately had to vote for it also speaks volumes as to the sort of system we currently have in our country. Can a 92% BN majority, mostly male, be conscientiously good for society as a whole, as seen from this case? Come on, where is the sense of justice and fairplay? Our country is putting its Muslim womenfolk in a gravely compromised situation. Have our men conveniently forgotten that much as it gives them increased liberty, that the price being paid might just be equally exerted upon their mothers, sisters and daughters? Or do they just don't care at all?

It is just so condescending the way this Bill has been forcefully pushed (or should I say shoved) through (down the necks of all the Muslim women in this country). I feel so sorry for my fellow Malaysian sisters. In these closing days of the year 2005, I pray hard that sheer decency will prevail and that what is so wrong about this Bill will be put right soon. A delay in action is almost certainly an act of gross injustice to those affected by it. The men who have the means to change things will most certainly eat, drink and be merry in ushering the coming new year but hopefully, they will also not forget that they have a duty to "do good" by their Muslim sisters in the spirit of fairness and kindness. Have a Happy New Year and Have a Heart.



Blogger H J Angus said...

Happy New Year, cik amoi.
I watched a movie on the struggle for women's rights in the USA.

They only received the right to vote in 1920 after more than 200 were jailed. The President gave in after a series of hunger strikes.

Women outnumber men in Malaysia and if they want to change things, they need to vote in more women MPs.

Maybe U can start an all-women's political party and teach the existing parties some proper manners.

2/1/06 21:18  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Hmm.. I need to first inflate my ego to match those of local MCP politicians before I even think about joining the fray. Local politics can be so juvenile, sometimes I see semblance of similarities between the sort of bawling and brawling in Parliament and that at my kid's playgroup.
I hope you had a good start to the new year HJ. As for me, I am having some major problems with blogger - can't seem to put in anymore posts because apparently I had run out of space. I think that's pretty strange and I'm still trying to figure out what to do. Ah well, I guess I shouldn't take this stuff too seriously.

5/1/06 16:20  

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