Indonesia's Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud MD is receiving flak from women across the world for his statement 'corona is like your wife'. The minister in a video posted on YouTube while addressing a local university spoke about COVID-19 comparing women to coronavirus and is facing the brunt.
In the video, "The other day I got a meme from my colleague... that says: Corona is like your wife. Initially you tried to control it, then you realize that you can't. Then you learn to live with it," Mohammad Mahfud MD, Indonesia's Minister for Politics, Law and Safety Coordination, said. He received the message from Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment.
Women's groups took to social media to slam Mahfud for his sexist remarks. He further spoke about opening the markets and said, "Are we going to be holed up forever? We can adjust to the situation while still paying attention to our health." The statement of 'coronavirus is like your wife' came after this as he was trying to give an example for getting adjusted to the situation. This statement has been taken seriously not only by women by people across the country.
Minister's Statement Reflect Govt's Negligence?
Reacting to the same, "This statement not only reflects the superficial power of the government to solve the Covid-19 pandemic problem but also shows the sexist and misogynistic mindset of public officials," Women's Solidarity group chief executive Dinda Nisa Yura said. Despite receiving flak, minister Mahfud's office did not issue any clarification in this regard.
This is not the first time minister Mahfud has created controversy. In 2012, his statement on the rights of atheists and communists also received flak. "People could only be punished for being atheists or communists if they behaved in a way that breached the national ideology of Pancasila," he had said.
Being a lawyer, he was selected as one of the constitutional judges in 2008. Mahfud was also appointed as Minister of Defense in 2000. This led to controversy as it was rumored that the appointment was disagreed by vice president Megawati Sukarnoputri. Later, during cabinet reshuffling, he was appointed as the minister of Justice and Human Rights in 2001.
Being served as the minister of human rights and a person who is known to address issues of human rights, comparing wife to coronavirus, is contradicting his own position and work so far, commented netizens on social media.
Indonesia Battling Coronavirus
Meanwhile, the government of Indonesia is all set to lift partial restrictions in parts from early June. To make this happen, the government is deploying 340,000 troops to deal with violators of social distancing rules.
Indonesia is the fourth highest populated country in the world with 260 million people. Currently, it has 25,216 confirmed cases and the country has reported 1,520 deaths so far. Reports claim that the more cases than reported as it has the lowest testing (for COVID-19) rates in the world.