UPDATE: Since I prepared this posting last night, things have been happening. Malaysiakini has also picked in up, while it seems now that The Star has come around to publishing it today though I haven't checked on this. I will leave my original posting as it is, and where relevant, add more Malaysiakini bits in or strike out parts that are no longer applicable.
In that article, Marina let loose a few missiles on the way Malaysia has consigned Muslim women to certain demeaning roles and status.
Marina said that Malaysian women may be compared to the black South Africans during Apartheid days. She averred they are nothing more than 2nd class citizens who have been held back by discrimination, which doesn’t apply to non-Muslim women.
Her sweet self - I hope she doesn’t mind calling her that as I have always been an admirer of Marina - has been thoroughly pissed off by changes to Malaysia's Islamic family law (IFL) that has turned out to women’s disadvantages. Under the new IFL, hubbies will now find it easier to take multiple wives, divorce them and to seize a share of their property. I wonder why, with a modern Malaysia, the government has come up with the IFL? Is it a pre-emptive strike on PAS' future policy? Or, is it to please the more conservative elements in UMNO?
She has been particularly disgusted by the women's ministry who encouraged female MPs and Senators to vote for the new IFL, on the promise that they could be amended later. To Marina, it seems that the ministry might as well be split into two, with one department to help non-Muslim women fight discrimination, while the other to keep Muslim women, in her words, bound and gagged.
From Malaysiakini, Marina said:
"In our country, there is an insidious growing form of apartheid among Malaysian women, that between Muslim and non-Muslim women. We are unique in that we actively legally discriminate against women who are arguably the majority in this country, Muslim women. Non-Muslim Malaysian women have benefited from more progressive laws over the years while the opposite has happened for Muslim women."
"These differences between the lot of Muslim women and non-Muslim women beg the question: do we have two categories of citizenship in Malaysia, whereby most female citizens have less rights than others?"
Marina complained to AFP that Malaysia is the only Islamic nation in which the rights of Muslim women are being eroded. She said:
"I, along with a lot of my friends, are just so angry about the situation. We're so angry about the family law which was passed through parliament. As non-Muslim women catch up with women in the rest of the world, Muslim women here are only going backwards."
"Only in Malaysia are Muslim women regressing; in every other Muslim country in the world, women have been gaining rights, not losing them. Today is International Womens Day. Unfortunately only about 40 percent of the women in this country can celebrate. The rest can only look at their non-Muslim sisters in despair and envy."
Maybe the PM should explain whether this is true?