The Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff has recently shared a video on how husbands and wives can tell each other off about their behaviours, but has since drawn criticisms from netizens.
In the 2-minute video, Siti Zailah advised husbands to physically “touch” their wives in a “soft but firm” way to reprimand them, when a wife does not cover her aurat or does something that he does not like.
“It is the role of the husband to educate their wives, and the same goes the other way round too.”
“If a wife still refuses to listen to her husband after being advised, Islam allows the husband to separate his sleeping quarters for 3 days away from the wife.”
“This is to apply a bit of pressure on her to show that he does not appreciate her behaviour.”
She then continues saying that if the wife still refuses to change, or does things that go against Allah’s teachings and does not follow discipline, the husband can use a physical touch that is soft and seeks to educate.
“It is full of love, which is not painful but shows firmness that the behaviour should be changed,” she said in the video.
Similarly for wives, Siti Zailah said if their husbands refuse to listen to them after being told properly, the deputy minister urges them to pray to Allah to open their husbands’ hearts to such advice.
Is this your Deputy Minister @IsmailSabri60 for Women, Family + Community Development portfolio? She is tasked with looking after women of all races. Please ask her to demonstrate how men should use "sentuhan fizikal lembut tapi tegas" to tegur isteri.https://t.co/3BdKANxORk— Hannah Yeoh (@hannahyeoh) February 12, 2022
However, Malaysians were quick to criticize the minister for giving a harmful advice and pointed out that domestic violence had been increasing since the Covid-19 pandemic started in Malaysia.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh too had questioned the deputy minister, “She is tasked with looking after women of all races. Please ask her to demonstrate how men should use ‘sentuhan fizikal lembut tapi tegas’ (soft but firm physical touch) to tegur isteri (advise their wives).”
“Are you for real YB Minister? You put women back to the dark ages! Just be a Minister! #WomenHaveRights” Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah tweeted.