07/28/2017 10:35 EDT | Updated 07/28/2017 10:36 EDT

Wives Who Nag And Withhold Sex Are 'Abusing' Their Husbands, Says Malaysian Politician

It was during a debate on domestic violence.

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This is why we need feminism.

According to multiple reports, a Malaysian politician recently made comments during a debate on domestic violence in the national parliament that suggested women who nag and withhold sex are "abusing" their husbands.

Men are generally physically stronger than women so they are subjected to emotional and psychological abuse.Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh

"Men are generally physically stronger than women so they are subjected to emotional and psychological abuse, which is even worse," Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh, a member of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, said. "This includes having a wife who denies conjugal rights to her husband or one who constantly nags."

Per The Telegraph, Malaysia is reviewing its laws on domestic abuse, which is significant as reports of domestic violence in the country have been increasing, yet public awareness of the issue among Malaysians is still low.

Public awareness of [domestic abuse] among Malaysians is still low.

Jusoh also complained about how Muslim men, who are allowed to have multiple wives under Sharia law, have to obtain permission their first wives before they can marry again.

"Some [men] want to marry more than one but need to get permission from their wives, who disagree and begin nagging," he said.

His remarks received strong criticism from public figures, including women's rights activist and daughter of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed.

Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters
Women's rights activist Marina Mahathir has condemned Jusoh's comments.

"This is an old notion, that when you marry a woman you own her body. It does not work that way," she told AFP (via The Telegraph). "Women have a right to say no to sex. It is ridiculous to say men are abused if women say no."

According to The Pool, Mahathir also posted a Facebook comment about Jusoh's remarks, writing, "Hmmm...and yet we let men rule countries?"

The proposed amendment to the domestic violence laws are supposed to offer victims of domestic abuse more protection, a measure which women's rights groups have been pushing for since 2013.

Hmmm...and yet we let men rule countries?Mahathir Mohamed

Rohani Abdul Karim, the minister for Women, Family and Community Development, told Star 2 why it's important for this amendment to go through.

"Police statistics show that domestic violence is on the increase, with 15,617 reported cases between 2014 and 2016," she said, adding that 75 per cent of the victims in these cases were women. "We need to see this bill through. We also need victims to know that there are laws to protect them from violence."

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A key amendment to the bill is the introduction of an Emergency Protection Order (EPO), which allows social welfare officers to grant victims immediate protection against their abusers.

"Currently, victims are required to make a police report and appear in court before they can obtain either an Interim Protection Order (IPO) or a Protection Order, which takes time. While waiting for these orders, victims have no protection whatsoever. Some victims fear making a police report for various other reasons," said Women's Aid Organization advocacy manager Yu Ren Chung.

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