A lawmaker suggested that it was "emotional and psychological" abuse if wives withheld sex from their husbands.
Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh (pic) (BN-Setiu) said that husbands suffer more than mere physical abuse.
"Men are generally physically stronger than women so they are subjected to emotional and psychological abuse, which is even worse. This includes having a wife who denies conjugal rights to her husband or one who constantly nags," he said when debating the Domestic Violence Act (Amendments) 2017 Bill in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, drawing sniggers from the House.
Che Mohamad also described having their requests to take in another wife denied as abuse for Muslim men.
"Some want to marry more than one but need to get permission from their wives, who disagree and begin nagging," he said.
Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali (BN-Bagan Serai) also drew laughter from the floor when he wanted to know how abused husbands were brave enough to come forward to lodge complaints.
He said women were more forthcoming when relating personal matters when visiting doctors while men tend to keep silent for fear of shame.
On Monday, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim told the House that more than 4,000 men were spousal abuse victims.
"Between 2014 and 2016, there were 15,617 domestic violence cases of which 74 per cent of the victims were women and the rest men," she said when tabling the Bill for debate.
Datuk Seri Dr Irmohizam Ibrahim (BN-Kuala Selangor) called for the setting up of a department or counselling unit to better protect abused husbands.
Based on a study, Dr Irmohizam said that of 33 cases where men were abused by women, 23 of them succeeded in getting an interim protection order.