Redefining morality (UPDATED with Chinese Translation)

Yes, I support what the IGP said. So who says I oppose the IGP for the sake of opposing him? When he does or says the right thing I will support him. The problem is, it is not often he does or says the right thing so I have very little opportunity to support him.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Help, not condemn unwed mums, says IGP

The public should not condemn those who get pregnant out of wedlock as this will drive them to abandon their babies. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the public should, instead, be more forgiving.

“The Malays, especially, are fond of looking down on those who get pregnant out of wedlock. This should not be the case as a mistake has already been done. Instead of condemning, they should help them,” he said after opening the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) 17th annual general meeting at the Bukit Aman Officers’ Mess yesterday.

He was commenting on the case where a day-old infant was found dead in Jalan Padang Tembak in Kampung Melayu Subang on Friday. Children playing there found a stray dog chewing on parts of the infant’s hand which had been torn off the body which was stuffed into a bag.

“It is inhumane to abandon the infant at a place where stray dogs roam.”

Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya police chief Assistant Commissioner Arjunaidi Mohamed said police were waiting for the infant’s postmortem results from the Sungai Buloh Hospital. “There is no lead so far but we will pursue the case,” he said yesterday.

Arjunaidi said police did not dismiss the possibility that the act could have been committed by someone living nearby. Those with information on the case are advised to contact the Petaling Jaya police headquarters at 03-79662222. — New Straits Times, 28 March 2010


Before I talk about the subject matter of the day (what the IGP said above), I wish to first address the issue of the coming by-election in Selangor Darul Pakatan. Well, it is actually ‘Selangor Darul Ehsan’ which means ‘Selangor the house of blessing’. However, it all depends on blessing for whom. After all, one man’s blessing is another man’s curse — as one man’s morality is another man’s immorality.

Currently, there appears to be a tussle as to whether the candidate in the coming by-election in Selangor should be an Indian, Malay, Chinese, or half-breed like me. Even while the poor Member of Parliament was still breathing and not yet dead, MIC already had their meeting to decide that their candidate who lost the last general election in 2008 should, again, be allowed to contest that seat.

Hmm…talk about dividing the spoils even as the body is still warm. I would consider that immoral and downright insensitive of these MIC Indians. It is almost akin to celebrating the death of someone not yet dead. And these Indians have the gall to scream that Malays are not sensitive to the feelings of the Indians. At least the Malays allow you to die first before they quarrel over your janda (widow). These MIC Indians fight over the ‘inheritance’ while you are still alive and kicking.

I really don’t care what your ethnic background is. I feel that whatever race we field in this coming by-election is not important. What is important is that it should be a female candidate. Yes, a woman, and not because I love women even though it is true I do. It is because women and not Indians are the neglected lot (and certainly not Malays as PERKASA alleges).

Do you know that 51% of registered voters are women (at least when I last checked maybe three or four years ago) and that 53% of women come out to vote on Polling Day? This means women are more responsible than men. But are 50% of the Members of the Malaysian Parliament women?

No need to answer that. It is not even 30%.

In some countries, it is the law that 30% of the candidates in an election must be women (I think it is one of the Scandinavian countries but maybe someone can correct me here). Malaysia, in fact, should pass a law in Parliament that at least 30% of the candidates in an election must be women. Instead, the Malaysian Parliament wastes its time…well, you know what I mean, I have already written about this matter this week (about how two weeks have passed and nothing of national importance has been discussed in Parliament).

So can we focus on arguing that a woman candidate must be fielded in the coming by-election in Selangor instead of arguing about what race this candidate should be? This, to me, is a more important issue.

I remember back in the 1980s in Terengganu, a couple from my kampong, Kuala Ibai, was on the way to cast their vote. For many years both the husband and wife were staunch PAS supporters. However, just before that particular election, Umno splashed a lot of money in the kampong and the husband was ‘turned’.

While walking to the polling station the husband told the wife that this time around they should vote for Umno. After all they had taken Umno’s money.

The wife retorted indignantly: you can vote for Umno, I will vote for PAS. The husband replied that a wife must obey the husband and if she defies him then the husband has a right to divorce her.

The wife said, “Divorce me then,” and walked off and voted for PAS.

I know about this because the wife came to my house after that to pour her heart out.

I not only had to act as a marriage counsellor. There was another case where my servant came crying because her husband and son had quarrelled and the husband had chased the son out of the house and ‘tak mengaku anak’ (disowned him). The husband was wearing an Umno badge and the son a PAS badge. Guess what happened then.

So you see, it is not so easy to buy women. The so-called ‘staunch’ PAS man, however, was easily bought. So I would trust women more than men (Hee of Perak notwithstanding — who is the exception rather than the rule). And since elections can be won or lost because of the votes of women, why not have more women elected into office?

Why are we are always talking about racial breakdown and racial quotas? Why are we not also talking about gender breakdown and gender quotas? Can Pakatan Rakyat (or PKR in case that seat goes to PKR) look into the possibility of fielding a woman in the coming by-election in Selangor? And never mind if it is Malay, Indian, Chinese or whatever, as long as it is a woman.

Okay, enough talking about the coming by-election. Let us now talk about the subject I really wish to talk about today, about the IGP’s statement: Help, not condemn unwed mums, says IGP.

Yes, I support what the IGP said. So who says I oppose the IGP for the sake of opposing him? When he does or says the right thing I will support him. The problem is, it is not often he does or says the right thing so I have very little opportunity to support him.

I am with the IGP on this one. Society shuns women or girls who get pregnant out of wedlock. Their families disown them and they get treated as pariahs. So they would rather abandon their illegitimate babies, even kill them, rather than bring the baby home. This is not the fault of the unwed mothers but the fault of society.

The religionists would disagree with me here. They consider unwed mothers as immoral women or girls. But then, how does one define morality? Should not the definition of morality and immorality be redefined? Furthermore, are there not other things more immoral than unwed mothers, even if we still wish to classify unwed mothers as immoral people?

The point is, what if there is something more immoral than unwed mothers? Should we not then look at unwed mothers as the lesser of the two evils?

I know of many cases of young girls getting married at the age of 18 or 19 and then becoming jandas (divorcees) barely a few years later. You have many 22 or 23 year-old divorcees, sometimes with two or three children, running around the Malay heartland of Terengganu and Kelantan.

You see, because it is ‘immoral’ for these girls to frolic with boys, they get married. But the marriage is merely for the sake of sex or to satisfy the lust of the boys or young men. And once these males have had their fill and no longer find these girls exciting (especially after they have given birth to two or three children), these girls are abandoned. And they get to keep the children (or are forced to keep the children) while the males move on to ‘greener pastures’.

No doubt these boys and girls, or young men and women, get married before having sex — which is the ‘moral’ thing to do. But they got married merely for the sake of having sex. And once the novelty has worn off the boys move on to a new ‘sex partner’. So we may not have many incidences of unwed mothers in situations like this. But we certainly have many incidences of young abandoned mothers with children to support and no husband to assist them.

I have met many young Malay women or girls working as part-time prostitutes in Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu (the two most ‘Islamic’ states in Malaysia). And do you know that nearly all these women are young abandoned ex-wives with children to support? They have no qualifications or education so they do the only thing they know what to do — open their legs for money. (Hey, I met them as part of my academic research so perish that dirty thought).

So which is more immoral? Unwed mothers or abandoned mothers? The religionists would say unwed mothers. I would say abandoned mothers. There are far more abandoned mothers than unwed mothers. So that is more a problem.

But unwed mothers are pariahs of society. Men who abandon their young wives after ‘milking the cow’ are not considered pariahs of society.

When we talk about the issue of morality and immorality we must not confine the discussion to only the issue of unwed mothers. The scope of immorality is wider than that. Therefore, maybe society needs to redefine the new parameters.

For example, Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, the one-time Agriculture Minister, would be able to tell you that the highest incidence of AIDS is amongst the Malay fishermen. The Malaysian fishing boats rendezvous with the Thai boats, which masquerade as fishing boats but are actually floating brothels, in the high seas. And this is why there is a high incidence of AIDS amongst the fishermen.

Is this moral? Okay, so the fishermen do not leave unwed mothers all over the place. But this does not mean they do not indulge in illicit sex. And the worst thing is they come home and have sex with their wives and then infect their wives. So the women become unsuspecting AIDS victims even though they have led pious lives.

Society considers people who pray, fast, go to Mekah, and whatnot, as moral people, even though they may take bribes. I would consider those who do not pray, do not fast, and do not go to Mekah, but fight against corruption, as people with higher morals.

It all depends on the parameters you set to define morality and immorality. One man’s morality is another man’s immorality. Sex outside marriage is the least of this country’s problems. Even if you consider it a problem it is at the bottom of the list of priorities. But we place that as priority number one and this results in unwed mothers abandoning their illegitimate babies.

Why can’t the government set up halfway houses for unwed mothers? Don’t ostracise them. Don’t treat them like pariahs. Treat them with compassion. Many Malaysians would love to adopt these children if the unwed mothers would like to give them up for adoption. Just don’t kill them or throw them in dustbins for dogs to eat.

Who knows, one day one of these illegitimate children may even become the Prime Minister of Malaysia considering you need to be a bastard (metaphorically speaking) to be the Prime Minister.

And in honour of all unwed and single mothers, I will leave you with this music video called LOVE CHILD performed by Sweet Sensation (originally by Diana Ross):

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Translated into Chinese at: