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Actor Degrades Women With Remarks About Brothels For Foreign Workers: Nancy Shukri

“I am personally of the opinion that any suggestion that uses women as a ‘tool’ to solve social problems is demeaning to them,” says Nancy Shukri. “Statements, suggestions or even jokes that are insensitive towards women cannot be normalised.

Nancy Shukri, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development. Photo from Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development Facebook post dated July 3, 2023.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 – Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Nancy Shukri has responded to the controversial video clip featuring actor Rosyam Nor, in which he said that brothels are necessary to prevent rape because they provide an avenue for foreign workers in the country to satisfy their lust and sexual urges.

Nancy said she rejects the actor’s opinion, which degrades the dignity of women.

“As a woman, I am personally of the opinion that any suggestion that uses women as a ‘tool’ to solve social problems is demeaning to them. Women deserve better acknowledgement and treatment than that,” she said in a statement.  

“As the individual who holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM), I would like to emphasise that our ministry is dedicated to empowering women and gender mainstreaming through various programmes to increase the participation and capacity of women in various sectors at all levels so that they can contribute to and become agents of development for the country.”

She added that this includes assisting the government in creating the best ecosystem and a conducive environment that enable women to have a fair chance at having good and dignified careers, just as men have these opportunities.

Nancy said her ministry has zero tolerance for any form of violence against women, whether sexual, physical, emotional, or psychological, and this stand is supported by the government across all ministries.  

“As such, awareness and positive publicity about the rights of women and support systems for them need to be cultivated and spread to the general public, and not vice versa,” the minister said.

“Statements, suggestions or even jokes that are insensitive towards women cannot be normalised. Especially when it blatantly conflicts with our laws, principles, family values, culture and religion.

“I believe the citizens of Malaysia are knowledgeable and civilised, and we need to act better and wiser in the future, especially to demonstrate a commendable example for future generations.”

Rosyam has come under fire for his remarks, which he made on a podcast, from women’s groups and the minister of religious affairs.

Nancy’s statement is a welcome departure from the way former KPWKM minister, Rina Harun, reacted back in 2022 when the actor appeared in a promotional TikTok video for her ministry and also denigrated women.

In the video, the actor harshly excoriated women for “always being late” and said he wanted to “beat their heads up” (Aku nak belasah kepala engkau orang).

Rina received widespread criticism for smiling demurely in the background of the video while Rosyam delivered his spiel.

Malaysiakini reported that the actor has apologised for his remarks about brothels for foreign workers.

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