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COMMENT | Child brides and sugar babies

COMMENT | Is it a great debate or a farce? Is it a major social problem as it has been made out to be? Why has a survey, in which its sample base and methodology have yet to be disclosed, causing so much discomfort to a small percentage of society and yet is made out to be a major national crisis?

Is it such a serious issue to warrant the blocking of a website? Or, is it one of those issues that Malaysians harp on about for a few days only to forget when another issue surfaces?

For the past few days, statements have been made and police reports have been lodged. The only action lacking to make it a comprehensive Malaysian malaise is the gathering of protestors armed with placards and banners.

There has been no dearth of supposed guardians of public scruples making statements and commenting on this moral decadence. This is despite the Higher Education Ministry declaring that the data on the number of young women acting as “sugar babies” was dubious and possibly improbable.

The ministry had contacted several of the universities listed as having a high number of female students registered for sugar baby services - and found that many have expressed doubts about the data published.

It started last week when Sugarbook, the biggest “sugar daddy-sugar baby” dating service in Asia, released a survey which showed that Malaysia is home to 42,500 sugar daddies, earning it the third spot for the highest number of sugar daddies in Asia behind India (338,000) and Indonesia (60,250).

It also revealed that some 12,705 students from 10 institutions of higher learning in the Klang Valley, including two public universities, were currently registered with the platform.

Before these issues are addressed, let me make a confession: I neither condone nor encourage such arrangements between two consenting adults – two wrong people doing the right thing.

But I have to ask: Why hasn’t there been such furore when politicians capture trophy wives; VVIPs walk with nubile young women with arms entwined; when some old men marry child brides...

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