Saturday, May 03, 2008

Malaysian Women And Solo Travel Abroad..

Now...is this the solution to the problem?
Is there a problem in the first place that needs a solution?

If we are so worried about women being used as "drug mules', then we should tackle it differently.

Having said that, I've always been amazed at how "naive" these women are. You'd think that they'd learn from previous reported cases. But, no....they fall prey to these crooks -- wittingly or unwittingly, I really can't tell.

Still, I feel so sorry for them and their families.

Read this:

Local women intending to travel alone abroad may need family consent in a bid to prevent them from being used as 'drug mules' by international syndicates.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said a proposal to this effect would be made soon, following several incidents where the women were used to smuggle drugs overseas.
Out of 119 cases of Malaysian women hauled up before foreign courts, he said his ministry detected 90 per cent as being linked to drugs.
"Last night, my ministry, together with the home ministry, have jointly forwarded a report to the Cabinet on the matter.
"Both ministries agreed that factors like family, religion, immigration laws and preventive measures need to be considered before a Malaysian woman goes abroad alone," Rais told reporters after officiating the Malaysian Silambam Association's Jelebu branch here Saturday.
On the proposed requirement of family consent, he said it would enable the woman's family to monitor her departure and serve as a preventive measure against being duped by international drug syndicates.
Rais said a family should know the purpose of a woman's trip as to whether it was for study, business or other reasons.
"We are not sure the call will be taken up but we think it is an early necessary step to protect our citizens and safeguard the country's image," he added.
Asked what assistance his ministry could provide if local women were caught, Rais said: "We can only give advice and guidance to their families as we cannot interfere in or influence the laws of the country concerned."
Cases of local women caught in foreign countries for drug smuggling after being duped by international drug syndicates have parents worried here.
Recently, local newspapers reported that two Malaysian women, Norfaizura Azura Md Lias, 28, and Dayang Sakienah Mat Lazim, 20, were detained in Malta for allegedly smuggling drugs.--BERNAMA

45 comments:

Wakmasnoor said...

This is definitely not the solution.

It make sense a little through a narrow perspective, but generally, its one of the most unproductive and short-sighted ideas of all.

Surely Datuk Rais is much better a thinker than this.

Anonymous said...

This has to be one of the most hare-brained proposals ever. It smacks of an ulterior motive -- to regulate women's freedom of movement -- for how can a family's permission alter anything if the woman in question is intent on being a drug mule?

But why give out only the numbers of women arrested and charged in foreign lands? Shouldn't we be told how many men were arrested and charged -- and how many of them were drug-related?

Anonymous said...

According to the Bernama.com site,
"nine Malaysians including five women were caught while trying to smuggle drugs abroad so far this year".

This means that out of the nine, four were men. So why has the intelligent Datuk not asked that that men, too, get permission from their families before they, too, travel abroad??

I cannot believe what this man is suggesting! So are we going to become a Talibanized Malaysia then?

It is unthinkable to even suggest such a "remedy".

As long as any Malaysian, be it a man or a woman, is of an age to own a passport, the government has no right to impose any kind of "requirement" other than what is required of any citizen before they travel abroad.

bayi said...

The idea is counter productive. It takes more innovation than this to stem the tide.

If it is truly so serious, perhaps the rakyat should be invited to offer their suggestions. Put the ideas through a think tank.

Anonymous said...

see, told you... this country is ruled by idiots and opposed by idiots.

they seem to always reward the guilty and punish the innocent.

by the way, what kind of Dr. is this guy?

one has to take pity on his entire family... fancy having a father/grandfather like this... what a control freak!

tzarina said...

I don't know how you guys can comment so calmly on this arsebrained "proposal".

Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrgghhh!

I blew up in my blog.
http://orangewaves.blogspot.com/2008/05/solo-women-travellers-to-ask-consent.html

sexyjudge said...

Blast that proposal! Such an insult to women intelligence. All over the world the talks of freedom are startling obvious. Come on! Learn the ancient times.

I agree with you, Nuraina. Questions in precedence not answered; whether there is a problem and if there is, what exactly is the problem.

Bunda said...

Wow, another blooper from the BN government. Do they really have no marbles up there?

What kind of hare-brained idea is this? I would wager that such a law would be Constitutionally illegal, besides the fact that it smacks of gender discrimination.

Rocky's Bru said...

Firstly, the greed and gullible are everywhere. This is not a problem unique to Malaysia, so there isn't any need for this "unique" solution, really. Learn from Immigration authorities in some other countries, of the procedures they go through with every outbound passenger, reminding you of drug offences, etc., asking you if you had packed your own bags or if you are bringing anything for someone else.

Secondly, it's not a gender-based issue as Anon 4am pointed out, 4 out of 9 were men. That's almost even, so why the need to protect the men less?

After all, we even had a case of a Malaysian man stupid enough not to know that it was an offence carrying millions of ringgit in his suitcase into another country!

novice101 said...

I'm going into the production of chasitity belts in a big way. Rais Yatim is going to make me rich. His next proposal, once this 'letter' one, falls through, is going to be women be ask to wear them when going abroad. Early birds will be given attractive discounts. Any takers?

Anonymous said...

I feel sorrier for this Rais. At his age, this is the brains he`s got?
How more stupid can the lawyer get?
It`s against the constitution.
Who instructed him that women do not have the same rights as men.

- Harcharan

Anonymous said...

Why single out local women and not local men travelling alone? Is the Foreign Minister implying that local men have not been hauled up before foreign courts for smuggling drugs overseas? Are local women perceived by the Foreign Minister to be more feeble-minded and naive than local men? Surely as adults, whether men and women, one should be held accountable if one breaks the law of any land they are in. What if the woman is 30, 40, 50, 60 or even 70 or more years old and travelling alone? Does she require family consent first to travel abroad alone? What was the 'learned' Foreign Minister, and a lawyer at that, thinking? How about trying to educate the public on the dangers of being used as mules for drug smugglers regardless of gender for a start? With such an idiotic proposal, gender equality in Malaysia is set to take 10 steps backward.

Anonymous said...

Why single out local women and not local men travelling alone? Is the Foreign Minister implying that local men have not been hauled up before foreign courts for smuggling drugs overseas? Are local women perceived by the Foreign Minister to be more feeble-minded and naive than local men? Surely as adults, whether men and women, one should be held accountable if one breaks the law of any land they are in. What if the woman is 30, 40, 50, 60 or even 70 or more years old and travelling alone? Does she require family consent first to travel abroad alone? What was the 'learned' Foreign Minister, and a lawyer at that, thinking? How about trying to educate the public on the dangers of being used as mules for drug smugglers regardless of gender for a start? With such an idiotic proposal, gender equality in Malaysia is set to take 10 steps backward.

The Watcher said...

Ah yes, one step closer towards being Saudi Arabia. In time, all Malaysian women can only leave the country accompanied by their male relatives.

And while we're on the topic of monitoring travel, why not we get the police, ACA and Parliament to monitor ministers' business trips abroad to make sure no under-table commission is being made...as well as monitor ministers' wives to ensure they pay duty on container loads of goods brought back into Malaysia after foreign shopping sprees?

Michelle said...

Kak

Surely he can't be serious about this. It is poorly conceived, and an unworkable proposal.

This is not going to help the cause in any way.

GobloKing said...

I am rolling on the floor screaming with laughter..as is my lord and master!

This idea is TERRIFIC!

I don't know why nobody has thought of this in the 1st place!

Now instead of having 0.0001% of msian women falling victim to drug pushers, we can protect all 100% of the womenfolks!

SERIOUSLY. This is for our own good!

You go Rais YOU GO!!

sayangmalaysia said...

Thanks to these women, my bags get additional personal search at most airports. I just happen to be randomly picked for the last 3 checkpoints!

And to add to my problem now we have the government trying to outdo my family! Please ... the government cannot take over the responsibility of individuals! If I am grown up enough to own a passport, why am I not mature enough to decide where I want/need to be tomorrow. Hello??

Please YBs... check how the local women get conned into the scam... if I recall from the last few cases, all of them were befriended by drug traders who guised as tourists/students in this country. Maybe it is time we check on the inbound people, instead of the outbound?

And incidently, can we get the bag screening at our airports to be a little more serious. From my observation Malaysia has the most lax security at all entry points. Officers are not showing authority at the checkpoints.

We are too casual in handling the traffic. Two weeks ago a group of foreign nationals cooly attempted to walk out of KLIA thru the airport employee entrance!

anu said...

brill nuraina - the report had me fuming over my Sunday nasi lemak. but then again it's exactly what we have come to expect from our ministers - another brilliant solution! but while we are at it, why not introduce a No Parenting Act. After all, we know good parenting breeds sensible kids - so unless you pass the Parenting Quotient Test, with requisite questions on preventing drug mule-ing and other drug stuff-lah, you can't have kids. Rationale - dumb parents = dumber kids = drug mules. How Datuk? Can or not?

Amiruddin Kedah said...

Kak Ana.

Are you joking.that mean you cany travel without your parent consent.Cepat2 lah kawin.he he he

I thing our foreign minister going nut.Kesian Pak Lah.Dah lah kalah terok dalam PRU 12.Menteri2 kabinetnya pun teruk.Jadi cha cha marba.Ada yang minta maaf kerana keris,Ada yang berlagak macam PM,ada yang tak tahu nak buat apa kerana kena jaga mesuem dan ada yang gila talak.Ada yang takut nak ka pejabat kerana isteri nak ikut sama kerana isteri ada dengar girf friend selalu datang ka pejabat minta kontrek.

Anonymous said...

Is creating another problem to solve a problem, this is normally the case involve government that lost idea to move the country forward.

This goes with a lot of people too when they demand minimum wages, the issue cannot be solved with just a simple policy like this.

So long as the people are poor and the country is not breaking new ground on economy upgrading for the general public this kind of difficulties cannot be resolved.

nchanted cat said...

He might as well say that Malaysian women cannot travel alone. And if they are not travelling alone, they must get consent from their family to travel with the person they are travelling with. Maybe Malaysian women are just plain naive eh?

I think that he is not addressing the root problem.

Zawi said...

Nuraina,
As long as they are greedy and gullible, nothing will stop them from being used as drug couriers.
Looking forward to you appearing live on Blogs on next Sunday Night on TV1. Tonight was Sang Kelembai's night.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Wahhabi-ism ala Malaysia

Anonymous said...

Ah...please permit me to share a story about travel, ya...

I would like to share a story:

Consider a place where the people found an abandoned ship: large, beautiful and inexplicably drifted to their shore. They were excited but over the days, months, they realized that some missing parts and fuel was not there and so the ship was beautiful but remained at shore. These people (A) have been subjugated by some colonialists, and really wanted to be in charge of their own destiny.

As chance, destiny, whatever, would have it, some strangers who were also in the same land, began to discuss whether together they could get this ship going. And, yes, these strangers (B) managed to get hold of some of these parts and some fuel, and after working together on the ship that A had found, the ship was ready to sail! So A+B got on board and decided that this way, they could decide the destiny of this new ship (M).

At first, everything was hunky dory, friendly, each realizing the role of the other.

But after some years, the A people began to resent the presence of the B people: why are these people on OUR boat, and don't bow to US as Masters?! How dare they threaten us?! (Now it must be known that 100 people were on that boat: by this time 65 A people and 35 B people). The A people had the captaincy of the ship, 80% of the lieutenants, and was in charge of the maps, steering, etc. But the B people had the knack of engineering, and could read the stars and so you'd think these people would learn that they all benefited, provided the ship was going somewhere GOOD! But no, the A people screamed, this is our ship! You stowaway! While the B people retorted: What stowaway?! We got on board fair and square - just treat us as co-sailors; after all, you all are the captain, the lieutenants, etc, we just want to eat the same food and not crap, and please don't let the officers on this ship short-change us all! We gotta be cooperative to get to the GOOD PLACE! If we keep getting treated as stowaways, then more of us will be forced to jump ship; and we love this ship, too - wasn't that why we got together in the first place?!

Meanwhile the 2nd generation of Officers indeed had started enriching themselves and had secretly sailed the ship in circles, going nowhere, just so they could keep control of all these 'dungu' sailors (both A&B)! They had lost sight that other ships were sailing quickly to the GOODLAND, and instead keep on raising these resentment between A&B so that no one would notice that the ship was just drifting!!
Ah...but eventually some of the sailors began to smell the bad fishy smell...and now some are blaming the Officers, some blame A and some blame B...will these people ever sail the good ship M to the GOODLAND? Will 5 other ships reach there first and all the people on M become servants of these other peoples?

Stay tuned to see the next Episode of A,B,M and the Circles!

Anonymous said...

It is still consider as a foolish thing not stupid, anyway! we wait till our Nazri will table the motion for all Malaysian women and solo travel abroad must wear "CAWAT BESI".It's been discussed in parliment several years ago by a BN moron!.May be our malaysian aged politcian brains becoming numbs and worn-off!like mine as well!

Anonymous said...

Folks, this thought just occured to me: how do we know that this entire "drama" of getting family consent has not been conceived as a diversion to other issues that are causing a huge headache to the BN bullyboys?

As we know, through our energetic and enthusiastic surfing of the net, there are some extremey sticky dilemmas those sorry ughs at Putra Jaya are facing.

It just seems very very suspect. I mean, the very idea of getting family consent is so, sooooooooo ludicrous that it had me first shaking my head in total disbelief, then getting enraged and then when the absurbdity of it all sank in, I just burst out laughing.

I mean it is just too, too funny: we have Ministers who deal with foreign governments on a very high level, and whose salaries and perks are huge because they are supposed to be dealing with huge responsibilities and then this, THIS is the kind of absurdity they come up with? Think about it. Something really stinks here.

This kind of thing has seemingly happened before as well, i.e. the creation of “diversions” by bringing up some kind of outrageous irrationality which they know will create a huge uproar and, ofcourse, serves to divert the attention of the public away from other matters they do not want us to focus on. It is not inconceivable that this new issue just might be one of those times.

Ofcourse, I could be entirely wrong, and what we have here is just outrageously irrational men hellbent on showing their regressive mentalities. In which case ladies(and men too because I know you are out there adding your valuable support to this), PLEASE GIVE THEM HELL!

mekyam said...

Dear Ena and fellow visitors,

And how exactly does the Minister forsee us single Malaysian females who travel alone use this consent wassit?

Wear it like a magic talisman around our necks or stamp the darn thing to our foreheads to ward off all those evil types who would use us as drug mules in foreign shores?

This is both funny and sad. :D

Anonymous said...

"How about trying to educate the public on the dangers of being used as mules for drug smugglers regardless of gender for a start? With such an idiotic proposal, gender equality in Malaysia is set to take 10 steps backward."

I totally agree with this comment. Educate the public.

kate said...

i do wonder about the intelligence of our elected representatives.

what could have possessed them to come up with such a stupid, ill-conceived idea? (!!!!)

A.John said...

oh my god! And this is our foreign minister ! What an embarassment to this country and her citizens. maybe Rais was down with dengue fever when he blurted this pronouncement!

Anonymous said...

"Just for laughs"

The immigration chap manning the crew counter at KLIA Departure will have a helluva time checking the letters of consent from Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia stewardesses!

..and just think how I will become rich by selling to them pens and paper... and maybe a photostat machine !

jantan said...

As a parent of many girls I should say that this is ONE of the options to prevent our girls from falling into the trap of these syndicate. We should take it positively.

For those who criticized the proposal, WHERE are your counter proposal?

Sad to say that nowadays, especially when people blog, whatever people say, we oppose, BUT please express your solutions for this problem, then we see how many people will laugh at it!

two-face said...

Sorry, but I don't think these ladies are naive. They are educated and they know fully well what they're getting into.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

jantan,

i'm sorry ..but i have to disagree with you.

this is not an option at all. What counter proposal ar you talking about? for a problem where young women get conned into carrying drugs and other offensive materials for their boyfriends? or worse, for strangers?
so, because we have these women so stupidly falling for charming foreign men with whom they had probably fallen in love, the government must have a ruling that blah blah blah..

i am a parent of a teenaged girl. i have the samme worries that you have.

surely, we play our role as parents the best way we can and we know how.

we advise them unending about not trusting people and not carrying things for people.

my daughter is too young to be travelling alone. but when the time comes, i will surely remind her until the sky comes down NOT TO TAKE (unknown) PARCELS FOR PEOPLE...

actually, jantan... i'm thinking, you can't be serious....

Anonymous said...

jantan said...
“As a parent of many girls I should say that this is ONE of the options to prevent our girls from falling into the trap of these syndicate. We should take it positively. “

MY reply: Jantan, if you feel this is how you want to treat your daughters that is your prerogative, but don’t assume that other parents are ready to insult and oppress their daughters in this way. I suppose too that you would expect your daughters when they are even in their 40’s or 50’s or later, to get your permission before they could travel abroad. Assuming they are unmarried because if they are married, it seems like you would fully support them having to get their husbands’ permission in writing. Something those intelligent Ministers might plan to propose next.

When girls go to university it often means living on their own for years in some other part of the country or even overseas, and after that thousands of them go into the cities to work and live as single women, and mind you these are situations when they can just as easily become drug couriers. What is your wonderful solution to this? Would you suggest that they get their parents permission in writing which they will have to present to “authorities” everytime they are spied on and checked on??
Surely that Mat Skoding champion will thank you for your support.

Jantan said:”For those who criticized the proposal, WHERE are your counter proposal?”

The counter proposals are many and can be found all over Malaysian blogs if you only cared to check before you shot off your challenge .And, infact, why are you not demanding the Ministers provide a counter proposal as an alternative to the totally insulting one they have come up with. It was their bright idea, let them actually think about it.

But since you “asked”, here is one counter proposal: The Ministries should come up with awareness and educational messages to warn young girls and their families of the problem at hand and what kind of penalties they could bring upon themselves and how the Malaysian government will be unable to help them if they are caught overseas.

But since you think the proposal is a positive one, what about applying it to men since so many drug couriers are men. Perhaps you should consider how you would feel if it was made compulsory for you to get your wife’s permission before you travel anywhere. The shoe does not feel so good when it is on the other foot, does it??

Jantan said: “please express your solutions for this problem, then we see how many people will laugh at it!”

My reply: Jantan, Jantan, Jantan. Sighhhh. It is not necessary to always provide solutions when you disagree with something. If someone says something so utterly stupid, then people have the right to focus on their stupidity. And, for your information, there are so many people who have openly expressed their disgust at this ridiculous proposal WITHOUT offering “counter solutions”, and they are all laughing at the ridiculous suggestion. Check it out, you will be surprised.

pipitart said...

As much so as I think this is a silly idea, but some people get carried away to the fact that they are blaming "BN" leaders who always seem to make idiotic decisions like this. But do remember also not only BN leaders make stupid suggestions like this, but from other parties too (so why only BN is getting all the thrashing?)

Remember the decision for separate gender lines at supermarkets a while back? That wasnt from a BN leader?! So yes, blame the person for making stupid decisions, but it is not the party's fault.

Munira said...

I'm curious. How'd they obtain that total percentage "90% linked to drugs", anyway? Because that's just implausible.

Roslina said...

Nuraina,
I have an idea... let's have an award for the most silliest, stupidest and horrific idea from MPs aka Biggest Dummy Award. The winner will be voted in by readers....I'm quite sure the winner will be from BN !

Anonymous said...

Pipitart said :”some people get carried away to the fact that they are blaming "BN" leaders who always seem to make idiotic decisions like this. But do remember also not only BN leaders make stupid suggestions like this, but from other parties too”

My reply: You are absolutely right Pipitart. We have seen plenty of examples in the past and will continue to see members from the different parties make one idiotic suggestion after another, in the future as well.

Basically what we have is examples of honestogod low level intelligence within the ranks of the parties; these are people whose mind sets are stuck in medieval times or, worse still, are ready to jump on any bandwagon and make any kind of nonsensical statement just to get publicity at any cost. And when they come out mouths blazing with statements that enrage or amuse (or both), they get royally shot down by the rakyat.

And that is exactly what has happened here; the proposal that has been put forward by the two Ministers has enraged many, many people, and they are saying exactly what they feel about this latest attempt to oppress women, and the fact is that it comes from Ministries of the BN government. So in this case, it is BN that is to blame. If the others within BN don’t like what the rakyat have to say about them, then what exactly are they doing about keeping their badly behaved members in check?

But, you know, the more one thinks of it, the more likely it appears that this latest stupidity is just another diversionary tactic to draw the attention of the rakyat away from some really serious stuff.

ck said...

I believe most the time it is the greed and gullible of the person(those "drug mules").

Like what Kak Nuraina say, we as parents and relatives can only advise and remind our loved ones NOT TO TAKE(unknown-even if we were told it's ok)PARCELS/BAGS FOR PEOPLE!

So what(are you going to do) IF after getting consent and they are still get caught....

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, the learned Rais had said that his "proposal" had been approved by both his ministry and the Home Ministry. Malaysiakini carried an updated report on the matter. Here is an extract:

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/82340

"'Fly alone' women: Syed Hamid shoots down proposed curbs"

"Newly installed foreign minister Rais Yatim caused uproar on the weekend with the suggestion, which he reportedly said had been put to the cabinet after being approved by his ministry and the Home Ministry.

"However, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar - a long-serving foreign minister until a recent cabinet reshuffle - poured cold water on the controversial idea, saying it was impractical and would infringe on human rights.

"In so far as travelling is concerned, we can't impose any regulations."

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm. Datuk Rais, whazzzup?? Miscommunication? Was something lost in translation? Or maybe the whole thing was just a dream.

warga kl said...

Aslm.

It was just an idea – may be, a personal idea! As Pipitart said – don’t blame BN or the ministry because other party’s leader did the almost same-decision i.e. separating gender lines at supermarkets.

As for me, the idea is a bit ‘stupid and backward’. Drug mules are from both genders or rather sexes. Both are looking for easy money and the chance of travelling abroad. Stupid mules with the lust for a well-moneyed living. So the proposal of getting parents consent for an overseas trip should be imposed to both parties – men and women, boys and girls and all “pondans”...! But, just imagines, you are 40, single and you want to go to Havana to further your political studies or to Beijing for a shopping-spree, do you still want to have permission from your parents to make the trip? What a life …..!

But do not blame others – blame yourself – men and women, boys and girls and the said pondans. Nuraina said that “we have these women so stupidly falling for charming foreign men with whom they had probably fallen in love” – so these women were willing to carry anything in their luggage or hand-bags! For what – love? Or money? So Anonymous suggested that “solo travel abroad must wear "CAWAT BESI" !! What about men? What “cawat” should the wear? Bamboo cock-stopper? Ha ha …

The basic question is our own attitude – never trust strangers! Not even your stranger-neighbors – they may be thieves, kidnappers, rapists, or whatever you can call them! But the Tourism Ministry will be mad at you – because you do not trust stranger – especially foreigners !! No more tourists coming for “Malaysian’s hospitality campaign!!” All sudah tak percaya “aliens” …..

What we can do is to educate the public on the dangers of being used as mules for drug smugglers regardless of gender …. as suggested Anonymous. So, start looking for the minister that responsible for this function …. Which ministry? BN’s or BA’s?
I am curious …..

Anonymous said...

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

I trust and believe that some of this comments are meant to ridicule and not address the issues surrounding us, the essence of the matter is that we are on the very of losing our dignity and privilege in certain European countries, asa a result of this phenomenon of being indiced to be drug mules.

Yang Berhormat Yang Berhormat Bloggers,

It is worth noting that our women are lured( there is also a proportionate amount of men involved ) that of late there has been an unprecendent number in the increase of cases of our woen who are caught in this dilemma and in jail and all alone, in countries like Argentina,Brazil,Chile,Uruguay and Venuzuela. You may wish to know that according to the intell that is on the ground as according to Berita Harians's report of today, from the total number of trafickkers detained as of this year alone up to April 22 2008, 29 Malaysians have detained for drug related offences and of this number, 20 of them are women of Malay origin,4 of them Chinese and five Indians.This is a very alarming stage.There is one of them who is 18 years of age.

maybe some of you have better ideas that to mock and ridicule the man rais who has merely rasied this point.

Please be adviced accordingly, that an apologies are in order, I think the best thing to to is honourable retract your statements of fury.

there was one joker who wrote to the star and had his letter published that we should have the ministry of jokes, for your learned purposes, this this is no laughing matter.I am perplexed how the letter to the editor surfaced but I think we should view all angles.

I rest my case....

chij gurung said...

oh my god! And this is our foreign minister ! What an embarassment to this country and her citizens

Shankar Banjara said...

interesting article about Malaysian Women And Solo Travel Abroad thanks for sharing