BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Asia-Pacific
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 9 October, 2000, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Malaysian minister in rape row
Malaysian women wearing headscarves
Mr Nik Aziz blames women for social ills
A Malaysian official is under fire after saying women who wear skimpy clothes invite rape.


His attitude is medieval

Ng Yen-yen, Malaysian Chinese Association
Nik Aziz Nik Mat, chief minister of Kelantan state, also accused women of being the main cause of "social ills and moral decadence".

He admitted that even his faith could be weakened by an exposed navel.

Mr Nik Aziz is a religious teacher and spiritual adviser to the opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) which rules Kelantan and neighbouring Terengganu.

women in market
Mr Nik Aziz wants women to dress modestly
Malaysian women's representatives immediately accused Mr Nik Aziz of being out of touch and having no respect for women.

Mr Nik Aziz made his comments during his weekly religious meeting in the Kelantan state capital, Kota Baru.

He particularly criticised young women who wore revealing clothes, including blouses that exposed the navel, and said the way they dressed invited men to rape or molest them.

"Even my faith as a religious teacher can be weakened by watching them," he was quoted saying.

'Narrow-minded'

Azalina Othman Said, a member of the supreme council of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno), described Mr Nik Aziz as "out of date and narrow-minded".

She pointed out that old people and women who covered their entire bodies also got raped.

Zainah Anwar of the Sisters in Islam Forum Malaysia said men must take responsibility for their own actions.

"The solution to society's ills does not lie in the shrouding, segregation and control of women," she added.

Ng Yen-yen, of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), said Mr Nik Aziz's statement reflected PAS's discriminatory attitude against women.

"[His attitude is] medieval, showing his ignorance against the role of women in modern Malaysia," she added.

Mr Nik Aziz has previously said that pretty women should be discouraged from working.

He has also introduced separate checkouts for female and male customers at supermarkets in Kelantan.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

20 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Unisex salons get the chop
06 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Islamic state bans karaoke
05 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysia bans game arcades
13 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian Islamists demand modesty
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories