By JD Lovrenciear
'Maruah wanita' principle is long lost in Malaysia
In Australia a global fast-food franchise owner-operator did not hesitate to apologise and even try to compensate a victim of sexism who suffered from insult and an invasion of what we can qualify as a womanhood’s personal privacy or ‘maruah wanita’ as we would term it here in Malaysia.
But here in Malaysia that ‘maruah’ principle is long lost. Even someone who demeans an elected Member of Parliament with an outrageous insult and vulgarity can get away without any principle-centred reaction, honourable response or justified rebuttal.
In all likelihood it would have drawn muffled chuckles within the halls of infamy.
That is the difference between democratic governance and arrogant tyranny.
As reported by ntnews.com.au (July 12, 2013), the case of a common citizen walking into a McDonald’s in Darwin and being asked by the serving employee if her breasts were real met with stern action by the victim. She did not even have to wait for activist NGOs to battle her cause. The brand-owner was quick to apologise and make amends to the best of his/her ability.
And the media had no qualms in reporting this matter responsibly and in a timely manner, too. Economic and stakeholder interests were non-issues when it came to defending the right to privacy and decency for women.
But back in Malaysia the scenario seems far too remote, warped and remains stuck in the typical feudalistic, male-chauvinistic trap. Yes, and when we continue to witness such scum-mentality within the corridors of power and leadership, we must admit that we are not even anywhere near a Third World nation gearing for First World status.
How can we even dreeam of transforming this nation when we still continue to witness crass obscenity and gross vulgarity especially targeting the female gender?
The case of a parliamentary officer who is alleged to have passed a remark that the female Member of Parliament in question should have shown her panties if she wanted to secure the post of state executive counsellor is certainly worse than being vulgar, crass and downright insulting.
And when it takes activists to protest, it hammers yet another truth - that human rights is butchered. That there are maniacs within the corridors of power, no?
Underlying this “show your panty” episode is a frightening scenario. The question that begs straight answers is - are our leaders obsessed with sex rather than decent governance?
Or is it a case of trumped-up nonsense by the opposition?
Mr Honourable PM, the rakyat are waiting for your answer.
Malaysians cannot be blamed for even thinking that women are still regarded as sex toys and gratification material - even within the hallways of decision-makers who are responsible for the future well-being of this nation morally, spiritually and socially.
Going by the “are your breasts real?” episode, if this “show your panty” took place in any other corner of the world, not only the parliamentary officer but even his/her boss would be hauled up into the public sphere and their leaders forced to make a public stand immediately.
But in Malaysia such vulgarity, brutality and sheer insanity against women are still great kopitiam jokes. Let us stop pretending; it is indeed a sad Malaysia.