Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaCreative Commons / ark3pix

Stirring up a gender storm in the Malaysian parliament, a woman MP accused a male officer of making an indecent comment that she failed to qualify as the state executive council member since she did not 'flash her panties'.

MP Fuziah Salleh said the comment was made by a male officer to a female MP outside the Dewan (Malaysian Parliament).

Fuziah mentioned the untoward comment during a debate in the Deewan Rakyat (House of People).

"She said that the male officer told the female MP, "If she had shown her seluar dalam (underwear), she would have gotten the post," reported Asia News.

Fuziah further made a point that the case may have referred to a sexual harassment case since it is not within norms to defile a woman with such nasty comments.

Normala Abdul Samad added to the concern that women who are subjected to sexual harassment back down due to shame and such incidents go unreported. "There was a woman who quit her job because she was ashamed after being sexually harassed by a man," she said.

Women's activist Norhayati Kaprawi demanded the male officer in question should be immediately dismissed.

An enraged Norhayati calling the remark 'extremely sexist' was quoted by The Star as saying, "Why do some men think that women have to exploit her sexuality in order to succeed. Do men think that women can't succeed based on their intelligence, strength and merits?"

"Women can! I find that to be a very sexist remark!"

Norhayati went on to slam Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) Muslimat chief Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff's uncalled comments where she had demanded women's short skirts and pants be banned since it invited sexual crimes.

"The government should consider enacting laws to prevent women from wearing indecent clothing to prevent sexual crimes," Zillah had said.

Siti Zailah's suggestion also faced opposition from Wanita Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) chairman Dato' Yu Chok Tow who urged all the women MPs to condemn the suggestion.

Chok said such proposal were regressive, unfair and unacceptable more so since it came from a female MP (Zailah).

She added that rather than executing stricter laws for dealing with sexual related crimes this was a reflection of the PAS's conservative policies typical of male chauvinism whereby blame is put on women.