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UMNO lawyer claims MBs and menses don't mix

Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun has reportedly claimed that her menstrual cycle would make Dr Wan Azizah unfit for the Selangor MB post

By Emma Chong Johnston | Published: 16 Jul 2014

No menses for MBs
Photo: Anwar Ibrahim and Wan Azizah at the 2013 general elections. Getty Images

UMNO lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun has been quoted as saying the menstrual cycle is one of the major obstacles preventing Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail from becoming Selangor menteri besar.

“This is because should a woman mentri besar suffer from ‘uzur syarie’ (period), there will be many obstacles for her to accompany the Sultan at religious functions," Hafarizam said.

“Hence, the Article under the Selangor constitution for example may not hinder a woman from becoming a mentri besar, but by convention there could be problems due to the said circumstances.”

According to Islam, menstruating women are considered 'unclean', and cannot pray, read the Quran or enter a mosque. There are no rules in the Selangor constitution preventing women from holding the MB post – the only conditions are that the candidate is Malay and Muslim.

Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he saw nothing wrong with a woman being Menteri Besar, but did not feel that Dr Wan Azizah was the right candidate.

“That is Datuk Hafarizam’s personal view and I cannot speak on his behalf, but personally for me, there is nothing wrong with a woman being a Menteri Besar or Prime Minister, even. To me, women are more qualified to be a Menteri Besar… just not that woman [Dr Wan Azizah].

“The Menteri Besar’s job is to run the state," Khairy added. "That part of not being able to accompany rulers is a very small thing.”

Hafarizam has since claimed that he was not specifically referring to either Dr Wan Azizah or menses in his statement.


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