Deeply disturbed to read of comments made by Malaysian MP Shabudin Yahaya

Delivered by Margot Parker, on 10 April 2017

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To The Editor,

I was deeply disturbed to read your story of April 5th, relating comments made by Malaysian MP Shabudin Yahaya. 

Mr Yahaya's position that there was nothing wrong with rape victims marrying their attackers, and that children as young as nine were spiritually and physically ready for marriage, are nothing less than abhorrent.

Mr Yahaya's attitude towards abuse of women and children is all too common in much of the world and demonstrates the amount of work still to do in changing cultural and religious attitudes that encourage such beliefs.

Only by protecting, educating and empowering women all over the world can we fight such barbaric practices and doing this should be the priority of how the UK allocates development and aid funding, making any financial support contingent on substantive progress being made towards the social advancement and protection of women and children.

In cases such as Malaysia where we cannot easily bring pressure to bear through aid, we should use every diplomatic and business tool available to encourage them to address the attitudes which Mr Yahaya's ill-judged comments exemplify - such as some sort of sanctions or travel restrictions on Mr Yahaya and members of his party.

Kind regards, Margot Parker, UKIP MEP and the party's spokesperson on women and equalities issues











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