KOTA KINABALU: Sabah women groups want a state Umno leader to translate his recent public apology over an off-colour rape remark into concrete action such as helping to set up a crisis centre for women and children.
The Sabah Women Action Resource Group (Sawo) and United Sabah Chinese Women Association said the apology from Kota Kinabalu Umno protem chief Roselan Johar Mohamed should be followed through with assistance for victims of sexual violence.
Sawo president Mary Lee said yesterday that apart from the apology, Roselan should provide a launching grant to set up a crisis centre and shelter for women and children.
She said the fund should be channelled to either the Sabah Council of Social Services or Sabah Women's Advisory Council.
United Sabah Chinese Women Association honorary life president Christina Liew said Roselan must not be evasive in his offer to assist victims of sexual crimes.
Last month, Roselan was quoted as saying in a legal literacy seminar that rape victims “should lie down and enjoy if they cannot fight it”.
The remark sparked off furore among women's groups that had called for action to be taken against him.
Social activist Anne Keyworth said the public should heed the words of Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman that the matter was considered closed after Roselan issued the apology by placing advertisements in newspapers here.
Keyworth, the housemother for the Bukit Harapan home, said Roselan's apology should be accepted in good faith.
Noting that some women were “going overboard” on the issue, she said: “they seem to have forgotten that our culture teaches us to forgive.”