Monday, December 06, 2010

When Malaysia makes me sad...

Malaysia is many things. A multi-racial country of modern highways and skyscrapers and modern education, where there are more women in university than men, where our top banker is a woman, where women are vice-chancellors (presidents) of universities.  I go to the local government clinic once every 3 months and see whoever the doctor is on duty - and in all the years I've been going there, the different doctors have always been  young Muslim women, competent, friendly and thorough.

You'd think paedophilia would not be legal in a country like that. And it isn't...for non-Muslims. For Muslims, however, it's fine, as long as the child's parents and some other man or other, from some religious department or other, says it's ok. (I wonder what training he has in recognising the physical and emotional well-being of a child. None, I'd say, judging from this article.)

Let's get one thing straight. A 23-year-old male school teacher* is an adult. A man.
A 14-year-old school girl is not an adult. She's not a woman, even if she has started her menses. She's still a child. She looks up to adults. Her religion and her culture tell her to obey her elders, especially her parents. She is gullible and vulnerable.

A 23 year old man who marries her - an educated man, not some illiterate fellow whose society is still steeped in the 19th century idea that children should be working at 12 and married at 14 - is purely and simply a paedophile.

And in this country, he can legally use a child for his sexual gratification. And parents who promote such a match are beyond comprehension.

Shame.

From the paper:.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom was guest of honour.
"By getting married and starting a new life, these couples also contribute to reducing the many social problems out there," Jamil said. On the 14-year-old bride, Jamil said: "As long as the Syariah Court gave its consent, she is allowed to be married."

8 comments:

Jo said...

How sad. Is divorce permitted in a Muslim culture? Lets face it if this happened in this part of the world, it wouldn't last 5 minutes anyway. At least he is supporting her continued education which is something I suppose.

Glenda Larke said...

Divorce is exceptionally easy for men. It's also in Malaysia exceptionally easy for them to run away from their responsibilities once divorced.

For women, if the man doesn't agree to the divorce, it can be very, very hard to get unless she can show that he is not supporting her and the kids.

Jo said...

So the wife has problems either way, if she manages to obtain a divorce she might be on her own totally with a passel of kids to provide for. What a lovely situation. If there are so many well educated and powerful women, why on earth don't they fight harder for their sisters?

Deb said...

The ways that people will justify things never cease to amaze me.
How is it that this type of paedophilia will "contribute to reducing the many social problems out there"?

Glenda Larke said...

I was actually speechless when I read that, Deb. It's amazing how simplistic people can be, especially when it comes to solving social problems, or confusing correlation and causality.

Anonymous said...

But didn't the Prophet Muhammad marry Kathijah who was 9?

Someone enlighten me, if possible.

Anonymous said...

Well, there are some very bad points in Malaysian society too...

Glenda Larke said...

Anonymous, re Khadijah - there is no proof of her age one way or another. It was all well over a thousand years ago in a largely illiterate society. Who was there to record such things? And who recorded dates of birth back then anyway?