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When politicians get seduced into stupidity

Photograph: Kosmo Online

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They should tackle more pressing issues instead of making clowns of themselves, says Mustaka K Anuar.

Certain politicians in the country seem bent on outdoing each other when it comes to making clowns of themselves over the years in the supposedly august Parliament.

The latest “victim” is PKR Senator Mohd Imran Abd Hamid who, in all seriousness, recently proposed that a law be enacted to protect men from being seduced by women and tempted to commit sexual misdeeds.

To be sure, it is the kind of proposal that is inane at best and infantile at worst. Well, it actually can be a lot worse if such a proposal gives us the impression that the man has nothing on his mind but.

For starters, the proposal is an insult to men in general as it casually assumes that they do not have the capacity or willpower to control their libido in the presence of women to the extent that they need to be “protected” by the force of law.

This proposal implies that human conscience and fear of God are not effective enough in putting men on the straight and narrow.

Second, assigning victimhood to men, as Imran did in this case, is essentially shifting the blame to women, who really are the ones needing protection.

This is because rape and harassment can be, and have been, committed against girls and women irrespective of their dressing, ie the defenceless victims.

In most cases, rape or sexual violence involves a sense of masculine superiority and control over women in the psyche of the male rapists, especially in a society that still has traces of patriarchy.

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It is, therefore, most abhorrent and unconscionable that the notion of victims in this context has been given a cruel twist.

Equally outrageous is the fact that members of the Senate, particularly Imran and deputy president Abd Halim Abd Samad, found it pertinent to bring this proposal to the attention of the upper chamber of Parliament.

And, worryingly, Imran and Senate members of that ilk were apparently not censured in the house for such disturbing remarks.

Taxpayers, who pay for the senators’ salaries, expect them to address more pressing issues that confront our society.

Surely, the plight of the Orang Asli, who often find themselves in conflict with loggers and developers as well as state agencies over the issue of ancestral lands, livelihoods and culture, for instance, merit the rapt attention of the senators.

Similarly, the issue of environmental degradation, particularly the case involving people in an area of Pasir Gudang in Johor and the rampant toxic dumping elsewhere in the country, should be of great concern to the Senate members as it affects the health and security of Malaysians.

And if it is not too high an expectation of ours, we would expect the senators to discuss the issue of climate change that is facing the world squarely, and what measures state and federal governments should take.

The Senate must provide good leadership in to stay relevant and politically beneficial.

We don’t need clownish remarks and behaviour in the lower house to be replicated in the upper house. That would be paying one (lousy) act for the price of two.

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After 9 May 2018, Malaysians expect a higher standard of discourse, particularly in a place where policies and laws are shaped, and where our collective future is planned.

To cast oneself as a politician who is less clever in Parliament is no longer sexy.

Source: themalaysianinsight.com

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