Protect and serve

From our “Words Fail in the 21st Century” Department:

The Malaysian Foreign Ministry has proposed that women travelling abroad will have to have letters from their fathers, husbands or employers permitting them to leave the country.

This story is headed:Proposal to protect ‘fly alone’ women: Have letter will travel
How strange that fly-alone is in quotes but protect isn’t.

What exactly are flying-alone Malaysian women to be protected from?

In a move to stop Malaysian women being duped into carrying drugs for international syndicates, the Foreign Ministry has proposed that all women travelling out of the country alone be required to have a letter from parents or employers.

See, uppity women who dare to get on planes by yourselves. It’s to protect your feeble little minds from being fooled…

“I have submitted this proposal to the Cabinet and both the Foreign and Home Ministries feel this is necessary. Many of these women (who travel alone) leave the country on the pretext of work or attending courses and seminars.
“With this declaration, we will know for sure where and for what she is travelling overseas,” said Rais.
The New Sunday Times has learnt that 119 Malaysians, 90 per cent of whom are women, have been imprisoned in various parts of the world for drug-related offences

Wait a minute – so Malaysian women are pretending to travel to work or courses. I am actually pleased that despite the way the issue is phrased, it seems to be Malaysian women themselves who are actually doing the duping. And the Malaysian government that feels itself duped?

119 Malaysians imprisoned around the world, a hundred-odd of them women. Does that number seem huge enough to justify taking away the rights of all Malaysian women?

Surely, this means there have also been about a dozen Malaysian men imprisoned in other countries. In the interests of justice, I think they deserve the same protection. I think a note from their mothers, wives or bosses would go some small way to keep these fragile easily-fooled creatures from international harm, don’t you?