Muslim parliamentarian says that denying sex to husband is an 'abuse'

Malaysia’s parliament is debating domestic violence against women. Lawmaker lists a number of 'abuses' that men endure, like being insulted and denied the possibility of having a second wife.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) A Malaysian lawmaker has said that women denying sex to their husbands was a form of "psychological and emotional abuse".

Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh, a Muslim with the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, made the claim during a debate in parliament on domestic violence by men against women.

"Even though men are said to be physically stronger than women, there are cases where wives hurt or abuse their husbands in an extreme manner," he said.

"Usually, it involves wives cursing their husbands: this is emotional abuse. They insult their husbands and refuse his sexual needs."

The 58-year-old lawmaker, from Terengganu state in Malaysia’s Muslim heartland, also said that denying a Muslim man the chance to marry a second wife amounted to abuse.

It is legal for Muslim men in Malaysia to have many as four wives. But they must obtain permission from an Islamic, or sharia, court to marry more than one. This is often done without informing the first wife until introductions are made between old and new bride.

It is not the first time a lawmaker has sparked controversy with comments about women – a member of Malaysia’s ruling coalition said in April that girls as young as nine were “physically and spiritually” ready for marriage.

More than 60 per cent of Malaysia’s population of over 30 million are Muslim.