Minister proposes female travel approval
Sun May 4, 1:43 AM ET
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia's foreign minister says women traveling alone abroad should be required to carry a letter from parents or employers verifying the reason for their journey, a news report said Sunday.
The foreign ministry said the aim was to curb the use of women as illicit drug couriers, but the plan was immediately condemned by women's rights groups as repressive.
Foreign Minister Rais Yatim has submitted the proposal to the Cabinet, the New Sunday Times reported. The plan is similar to requirements in some Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, where women need permission from their guardians to travel as part of Islamic principles.
The news report said 119 Malaysians, 90 percent of them women, are imprisoned abroad for drug-related offenses. Most are aged between 21 and 27 years, it said.
"Many of these women leave the country on the pretext of work or attending courses and seminars," Rais was quoted as saying. "With this declaration, we will know for sure where and for what she is traveling overseas."
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Ng Yen Yen said she considered the proposal an infringement of women's rights.
Norhayati Kaprawi of the Sisters in Islam, a voluntary women's group, rejected the idea as "not only a violation of women's rights, but also a violation of human rights."
Malaysians were the main recruits for syndicates wanting to smuggle drugs into European Union countries because they do not require visas for short stays, the report said.
Foreign ministry officials were not available Sunday.
(taken from Yahoo!News)
... so you're saying that when I head back to Malaysia (tentatively planned for this October, need to renew my passport), and then when I leave with new passport to head back to the U.S., I just might have to have a letter from my parents (or, most probably, my father, he's male, eh?) giving written permission for my departure from / verification of my business outside of Malaysia??!!!
... no f-ing way.
... ... ... and this is supposed to "solve" the "drug mule problem" how?????
My mind is blown.