Zaid: Malays need to talk openly about sex

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KUALA LUMPUR: The lives of young Malay girls who get pregnant out of wedlock are being destroyed because of hypocritical leaders who are not providing any meaningful solution to the problem.

Instead, these “pious men” favour severe punishment (especially under the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act355) to resolve the problem of girls getting pregnant out of wedlock, says Zaid Ibrahim.

They also favour “separate lanes in supermarkets, banning concerts and cinemas, and blaming Beyoncé and Lady Gaga for the social ills of the world,” he says in a blog post..

Lamenting the fate of these girls, the DAP member and former minister recounts two cases of Malay girls – one charged with drowning her stillborn baby and another with killing her newborn in a bathroom.

He says there have been many reports of Malay girls and young women disposing of their babies or undergoing abortions because they never wanted those pregnancies in the first place.

Saying these reports are just the tip of the iceberg, Zaid adds that a major obstacle to resolving the problem is that Malays are too shy to admit they have committed a sin, and they do not want to shame their families.

“That’s why this social problem is particularly high in the Malay community: sex is taboo, which is why Muslim preachers, educationists and political leaders oppose sex education.

“The hypocrisy of these leaders in not wanting to talk openly – about sex, safe sex, the use of contraception and the reality of modern society where people get involved in relationships before marriage – is the reason why Malay girls and young women kill their babies while others don’t.”

When these girls and young women kill their babies, they are charged with murder, and the lives of entire families are turned upside-down. This single mistake, he says, not only destroys the life of the baby, but the mother’s and the whole family’s as well.

“It’s so unnecessary, but Malay leaders don’t care. They just continue to talk about sin and punishment, and have not suggested anything practical to save lives and avert these tragedies.”

That’s why, he says, he keeps telling Malays to start electing and choosing leaders who can solve their problems.

“By this I mean problems in this world. They need to know how to have safe sex and they need to gain enough knowledge about sex when they are in school so they can decide what to do when the time comes.

“So far, they are fascinated by leaders who tell them about sin and punishment for khalwat, zina and premarital sex. But life – and biology – is such that it does not matter what the hypocrites say or what the law says. There will always be illicit relationships in our society.

“The task of responsible leaders is to reduce such incidents and alleviate suffering.”

Zaid says the the leaders Malays listen to now are irrelevant to their problems.

“Many of them are hypocrites. They do not really care about the fate of Malays, in this life or the afterlife. They only care about themselves. It’s time Malays voted for Pakatan Harapan!”