Female genital mutilation part of Malaysian culture: Government, Latest World News - The New Paper

Female genital mutilation part of Malaysian culture: Government

This article is more than 12 months old

KUALA LUMPUR Putrajaya has reaffirmed its stand that female genital mutilation (FGM) is part of Malaysian culture.

The statement came following a flare-up last Friday, when Malaysian delegates to the Universal Periodic Review on human rights in Geneva, Switzerland, defended the practice of infant female circumcision as a "cultural obligation" in Malaysia.

The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) lambasted Putrajaya for making what it said were "misleading statements" that FGM was part of Malaysian culture.

However, in affirming the government's stand, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said FGM here was unlike that practised in some African countries.

"But we are not the same as Africa, all the mutilation (there)," she told reporters at Parliament yesterday.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, added that her ministry would look into the issue and discuss it.

"If it doesn't give any benefit, then we should do something," she said.

In criticising the government's stand on the issue, Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail had said it was inaccurate to describe FGM as a Malaysian cultural practice and this had the potential of further damaging the country's international standing on human rights.