Following much criticism, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry has removed two pieces of advice it previously offered wives and working mothers from its social media pages.
It also issued a statement explaining its intentions behind the tips (photo) and "apologised" if they had come off as inappropriate.
“We take note of the many responses received after we promoted several tips for women during the movement control order (MCO) through posters on our social media posts.
“Our approach was to share ways and practices to maintain positive relationships within the family and when working from home. We offered the daily tips and positive messages on social media in line with our #WanitaCegahCovid19 campaign [...]
“We would like to apologise if several tips were inappropriate or if they touched on the sensitivities of certain groups. We will be more careful in the future,” said Women’s Department director Saidatu Akhma Hassan.
Women groups and politicians earlier chastised the ministry for misplaced priorities after it advised wives to use a “Doraemon” tone of voice to cajole their husbands to help with household chores.
A Bahasa Malaysia version of a Japanese cartoon series featuring the character used to air on RTM featuring dialogue dubbed in a childish, high-pitched tone.
They also disagreed with the ministry’s recommendation that working mothers ought to wear makeup when working from home, but not work too hard lest they end up neglecting their family members.
Instead of women’s appearances and tone of voice, they said the ministry ought to focus on helping those who were suffering from domestic violence and poverty during the MCO.
The tips sparked such a furore online that the word “Doraemon” was trending in Malaysian Twitterjaya since late afternoon today.