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Malaysian Men may be jailed when you call your wife Ugly

May 31st, 2009 · No Comments


The governmental Women’s Development Department plans to propose to Parliament to enact a law which put Malaysian men in jail when they psychologically assult their wife.

Currently Malaysian law only protect woman from physical violence.

Women’s groups told the department that husbands who “demonstrate a pattern of causing mental and psychological damage” should face counseling, fines and jail terms, Ivy Josiah, director of the Women’s Aid Organization, told The Associated Press.

About 90 percent of some 800 women who called the Women’s Aid Organization for help last year reported being psychologically abused, though some were also physically assaulted, Josiah said

In my view, emotional damage sometimes is very difficult to be proved and to be quantified before the court. what kind of emotional damage must be caused? The issue of causation is an issue as well. How can the wife prove that her current “state of mind” is directly caused by the verbal assault of her husband? More so the level of painstaking varies from person to person. For example by calling a woman “ugly” may not hurt her feeling at all but when you merely call or tell another woman that she is “not pleasant looking” may cause her worry for 3 days. These are the real technical things that the legislature needs to take into account. Unless they can “codify” certain terms to be the words of “taboo”, which means whenever such terms or words being thrown directly on the face of the woman, the man is deemed to have committed the offence (without the woman proving such emotional damage is indeed occur to her).

How many times must the abusive words being repeated would only constitute an offence? Can this law applied out of the marriage relationship? Can it applies between calleagues?

What if a woman is really ugly in the eye of average men, can the man call her ugly? should it be a moral duty not to call someone ugly or it should be a legal duty?

On another note, can such provision, if any, applies to the case of man? Can a woman being liable if she calls her husband a “useless man”?

Tags: Criminal Law · Family Law · Malaysian Law News

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