KUCHING: Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Tan Sri William Mawan has defended the spa and reflexology business, saying that it was unfair to accuse all of such centres as being fronts for vice activities.
While he did not deny the possibility that there could be immoral activities going on in some of them, he said it was wrong to say that all were to be blamed for husbands who went astray with foreign masseurs working in these centres.
“The state is looking seriously at family break-ups that allegedly arise from the spa and reflexology centres and China dolls. However, the answer to the problem does not lie in closing the centres as they are not solely responsible for threatening the relationship between husbands and wives,” he said.
“We need to have a balance. If people need to pursue certain pastimes, we have to accept it. If people need to drink, it is the state’s responsibility to ensure the water is safe.”
Mawan appealed for greater understanding on the need for the centres as the issue was complex.
He believed that husbands and wives should deal with family matters by themselves.
Mawan said husbands should be responsible and not neglect their wives or abandon their families just because they wanted a leg massage.
“When men are responsible, the wives will feel secure and there will be no problems in the family,” he said.
Mawan stressed that the state was prepared to take action against spas and reflexology centres used for immoral activities.
He said the state shared the concerns of wives over the centres, which were alleged to engage “China dolls” to lure their husbands.
However, he said the allegations must be proven to be true for action to be taken.
The public, especially housewives, who had proof could lodge complaints with his ministry and other relevant authorities, he said.
“Based on this proof, we will recommend that the centres concerned be closed,” he said.
“During my time as Environment and Public Health Minister, the ministry recommended the closure of two entertainment outlets after the police produced evidence of immoral activities there.”