Malaysian lawmaker sorry for proposing ‘anti-seduction law’, Latest World News - The New Paper

Malaysian lawmaker sorry for proposing ‘anti-seduction law’

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KUALA LUMPUR A Malaysian lawmaker apologised yesterday after his proposal for legislation to protect men from being "seduced" by women into committing sex crimes sparked a storm of criticism.

Mr Mohamad Imran Abdul Hamid, a Senator from the country's ruling coalition, made the comments during a debate in Parliament's upper house on Wednesday.

"I propose... a sexual harassment act to protect men from the actions, words and clothing of women, which can cause men to be seduced to the point they can commit acts such as incest, rape, molestation, (watching) pornography," he was cited as saying by local media.

"This is important. We (men) need to be protected.

"The actions, clothing of women can seduce us into breaking the law."

The retired admiral's remarks drew swift criticism from campaigners.

The leader of his own Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Anwar Ibrahim, also called on him to retract them.

"The proposal gives the impression that men were immoral and easily seduced into committing vile acts," Mr Anwar said in a statement.

Mr Mohamad Imran apologised and withdrew his proposal: "Although my intention was sincere, I did not expect it to be perceived as a huge mistake that offended many women and men as well."

Women's rights campaigner Marina Mahathir was among those criticising his comments, saying they went "over the line".

"He's giving excuses for men behaving badly," the activist, who is also the daughter of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, told AFP.

"It just points to the type of toxic environment that women in politics, and in other areas, have to live in."

Women's rights group Sisters in Islam tweeted that sex crimes were "despicable".

They added that "men must be held accountable if they commit these crimes, regardless of what women wear". - AFP, REUTERS