SlimmeWhite Malaysia may take action against a blogger for distorting the real message behind the advertisement.
PETALING JAYA: A company that has come under fire for an advertisement deemed as degrading to women, has defended the message behind the slimming and whitening product it promotes, saying it teaches men how to better appreciate their wives.
Speaking to FMT, company director Mohd Faizal Aminuddin of SlimmeWhite Malaysia said the advertisement attempted to show the reality of some marriages and how men had to learn how to appreciate their wives more.
He lamented that a certain blogger had totally misinterpreted the storyline, twisting the original message and claimed that the advertisement degraded women.
He said the company was considering taking action against the English language blogger because of the controversy that had ensued.
“We are going to take action against the blogger as it has gone too far and the original meaning of the ad has been distorted,” he said.
He said the advertisement, uploaded to Facebook on Monday, had received positive feedback and that sales for the Slimme White beauty drink had been encouraging.
“We received a call from a customer, telling us that she was in the same situation and the ad had inspired her to change for the better.
“But it is sad that the message was misinterpreted by some people,” said Faizal.
The advertisement has been shared over 31,000 times and viewed 1.7 million times to date.
The four-minute clip shows a woman whose husband throws her out of the house and divorces her despite her many pleas.
The video alternates between flashbacks of conversations the couple had before their marriage, in which he promises to love the woman even when she is old and wrinkled. However, the present-day reality is far removed from what he promised as he abuses her both physically and verbally.
After she is thrown out of the house, her sister recommends she take the Slimme White beauty drink.
One month later, noticeably fairer and thinner, the woman is seen walking past her husband, who chases after her and apologises for his actions, telling her he still loves her.
However, she tells him to move on, saying she will pray for his happiness.
Commenting on the advertisement, the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) described it as “offensive, unhealthy and irresponsible”. The NGO also said the advertisement was “incredibly damaging” as it implied that women who look a certain way deserved abuse, and that their husbands had a right to abuse them.
“What we need is respect and equality. We need men to respect women, and to recognise that it’s never okay to abuse another person,” the WAO said.
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Bahagian pelancongan Malaysia merupakan salah satu sektor yang penting dalam ekonomi Malaysia. Sehingga kini, sektor pelancongan merupakan sektor kelima terbesar negara selepas sektor perkhidmatan kewangan, kelapa sawit, borong dan runcit, gas dan tenaga, dan petroleum dengan menyumbang sebanyak RM36.9 bilion kepada Keluaran Negara Kasar (KNK).
Pun begitu pada peringkat awal selepas pasca kemerdekaan Malaysia, kerajaan tidak memberi penekanan terhadap sektor pelancongan. Kerajaan pada ketika itu lebih memberi tumpuan kepada pembangunan infrastruktur negara dan melawan ancaman communism. Selain itu, penyebab ancaman dari luar seperti konfrantasi dengan negara jiran turut menjejaskan rencana kerajaan pada ketika itu. Ia serta merta melambatkan pekembangan sektor pelancongan di Malaysia.
Pada era masa 60-an, sektor pelancongan masih belum mewujudkan peranan yang utama terhadap perkembangan ekonomi negara. Kerajaan pada ketika itu memberi tumpuan kepada sektor hasil bumi seperti bijih timah dan getah. Sektor hasil bumi tersebut telah memberikan sebanyak 45% kepada keluaran Negara kasar (KNK) pada tahun 1970.