Eye specialist Muhaya apologises for ‘misunderstandings’ after telling women to ‘play dumb’ to find a husband

·3-min read
Dr Muhaya had claimed that ambitious women have high levels of testosterone which prevents them from landing a spouse. — Picture via Facebook/ProfMuhaya
Dr Muhaya had claimed that ambitious women have high levels of testosterone which prevents them from landing a spouse. — Picture via Facebook/ProfMuhaya

PETALING JAYA, June 11 — Eye specialist Prof Datuk Dr Muhaya Mohamad has apologised for sparking a public uproar with a video in which she told women to “play dumb” if they want to find a husband.

Dr Muhaya, who is also a popular motivational speaker, posted a statement on her social media acknowledging that she had angered people and that she was sorry for causing “misunderstandings.”

She said that the 56-second clip she posted this week was cut from a 45-minute discussion she had with host KK Talib in February about women facing the dilemma of choosing between their family and their career.

“Technically, it is an old video. However, I understand that this clip which was trimmed to 56 seconds has caused uneasy feelings amongst people, particularly women, to the point where it raised questions, quarrels, and suspicion.

“I would like to take responsibility to apologise for any misunderstandings that have cropped up and I want to say a million thanks to those who showed concern, including the media, friends, and family who took the initiative to fact-check (tabayyun) or contact me or my team for the truth,” said Dr Muhaya, who took down the video after receiving backlash.

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The ophthalmologist said she too is an ambitious person and would always support women who want to be successful in life.

Dr Muhaya came under fire this week after she posted a video telling women to stop chasing gender equality and tone down their ambitions if they want to find a spouse.

In the clip titled “Why are women late in finding a spouse?”, she claimed that women who are highly driven have increased levels of the male hormone testosterone.

This would then hinder their ability to land a husband, she said.

“Those with high testosterone, always want to drive, achieve, and be independent, for sure lah won’t find a husband anytime soon.

“Men like women who are delicate, have high levels of oestrogen, are damsels in distress, so go on and play dumb a little, it’s fine.

“So those who haven’t found a husband yet, look at your character first.”

The clip was lifted by Dr Muhaya from a 45-minute video titled “Antara Cinta dan Cita-cita (Between Love and Ambition)” on her YouTube channel.

In the lead-up to her controversial comments, Dr Muhaya discussed the differences between men and women and claimed that boys and girls “cannot be educated in the same way” because their brains “develop differently.”

She also urged women to “respect men’s role as the head of household” and celebrate their place as religious leaders in Islam.

While many social media users have slammed Dr Muhaya for her video, her patriarchal views on gender are deeply entrenched in Malaysian society.

The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry made an infamous social media post in March last year telling wives to wear make-up at home, dress nicely, and speak “in a Doraemon-like” voice to prevent marital disputes during the movement control order.

The ministry’s deputy Datuk Hajah Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff was also called out in April 2020 for a video advising women to “accept, remain patient and forgive” their abusive spouses.

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