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Women leaders outraged
Kota Kinabalu (24 May, 2004): Several Sabah women leaders on Sunday demanded a public apology from Kota Kinabalu Umno pro tem head, Haji Roselan Johar Mohamed, and asked him to retract his “outrageous” remarks about rape victims which they feel are an insult to women’s intelligence.

While closing the “Legal Literacy Seminar” for Women on Saturday, Roselan had remarked, among others, that “If you cannot fight rape, better lay down and enjoy it.”

He also proposed that when a victim lodges a police report on rape, the doctor must carry out a psychological examination on the victim as to what extent she enjoyed it.

The seminar, held at Wisma SESB here, was jointly organised by the Kota Kinabalu Parliamentary Constituency-level Women, Family and Community Development Council and the Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Traders Association.

Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government, Datuk Hjh Azizah Mohd Dun, said she felt disgusted by the remarks.

Calling on Roselan to retract his statement, she said it was in bad taste and revolting not only to women but also to society at large.

“We want him to apologise to the women in Sabah. Even old women and children get raped. Don’t tell me the child enjoys it as she is innocent and does not even know what it is all about.

“He (Roselan) is insensitive to women’s sentiments about rape, especially rape victims, despite the fact that he has a mother, a wife (and daughter?).”

Azizah, who is also Umno Beaufort Division Wanita Chief, noted that the country’s leadership has condemned rape as a heinous crime.

“But here we have someone who is making light of the victims’ ordeal.”

Assistant Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs, Jornah Mozihim, said it would be appropriate for Roselan to make an apology in the media because he has hurt the feelings of women in Sabah.

“It’s totally wrong and disgusting...he has no compassion for the victims. It is most unbecoming of him as a political leader.

“As a guest of honour, he should be supportive of the organisers’ efforts. Instead, his utterances have, in a way, nullified their noble intention. “What is there to enjoy? It’s a case of rape cum murder in many instances.”

Jornah described rape as a violation of women’s fundamental rights and the basic principle of life.

“Sexual offences have reached an alarming stage in the country. Such unpardonable crime has received condemnation from the Prime Minister who advocates capital punishment for perpetrators who cause the death of their victims, especially children.

“Apparently, Roselan is not conforming to national efforts to combat violent crimes against women and children.”

She, meanwhile, reminded single mothers who remarry, to be concerned for their daughters’ safety and not to compromise it.

“It is common to hear of stepfathers raping stepdaughters, not to mention fathers ravaging their own ‘flesh and blood’.”

Sabah Umno Wanita Chief, Datuk Dayang Mahani Tun Pengiran Ahmad Raffae, also called on Roselan to retract his statement.

“Knowing him personally, I am disappointed over his statement if what was published had really happened.

“I respect the walkout staged by several speakers from the Sabah Muslim Women Lawyers Association (Salwa) in displaying their feelings over Roselan’s remarks,” she said when contacted Sunday.

Describing rape as a forced action against the person’s will, Mahani asked: “If a grandfather rapes his grandchild and a father rapes his daughter, does his remark imply that both the grandchild and daughter who are rape victims, enjoyed the intercourse?

“Of course, his uncalled-for remarks were a big insult. As right-thinking citizens, we should be giving moral support and protection to rape victims, and sympathising with them, instead of poking fun against them.”

She stressed that rape cases are severe and affect the victims’ lives, adding that some would suffer nightmares, phobia and even go insane.

“Rape issues should not be a topic of joke to play around.”

Sabah Puteri Umno Chief, Rosnah Hj Rashid Shirlin, said Roselan’s utterances were most unwelcome and did not reflect the views of Umno as a whole.

“Sabah Puteri Umno certainly do not subscribe to his viewpoint. He may have uttered it as a joke, but no, we don’t think it is funny.”

According to her, the organisation has been consistent in its tough stand against rape as a despicable crime. “In our fight against its incidence all this while, we have made a clarion call to denounce rape outright.”

President of Pewasa (Sabah Women’s Organisation), Datuk Hjh Zahra Ismail, found the statement “shocking”.

“Rape involves physical force and threats. In fact, in all rape situations, women are threatened, humiliated and violated, so it makes no sense to think that any rape victim would enjoy such an experience,” she pointed out.

She contended that “silence” would indicate consent by the victim and the assailant would go scot-free after the incident with no end in sight to the crime.

“Rape causes extreme emotional distress in that the victims often feel unsafe and powerless, and lose faith in society.

We do not want this crime to happen to any women be it our friends, family members or the community.”

Women were advised to be equipped with skills as best they can and even secure any kind of equipment or gadgets for self-protection.


  1. Where is this Semenanjung bloke now. Heard hi was rewarded by UMNO gomen to a certain post..cilakak

  2. Hope Roslan JOhar has repented .. But a pervert is a pervert..


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