Taboo views

CAUTION: Sensitive topics ahead. Must read with an open mind. 

You know you have certain views that may not go according to mainstream views? Like how you don’t like the salted yolk in your moon cake when everyone else LOVE it, or how dinner time for you is not the usual 6pm or 7pm, but 1am. You go against the flow, or rather, norm.

And then things get serious as you grow older and learn about various issues happening in the world today, so your thoughts becomes very ‘serious’ now. You think about society and their values, that even if the majority value is a certain way, you prefer it the other way.

I have many views about many things and often times, well, most of the times, I get into debates and fights because of my strong views. I try to be rational and try to give out my reasons and back it up with strong facts about why I say some things, but I am often shunned because my views are too strong for these taboo topics.

1. Stop calling them ‘pilak’

Although Article 12 in the Constitution of Malaysia explicitly says that every citizen has the right to education, these ‘illegal’ children do not. Hence why immigrant children roam the city asking for donation or selling things such as tissue or lottery results. The rise in ‘street kids’ have risen over the past few years which in turn is a big problems for the locals.

The level of dehumanizing of illegal immigrants (some of whom have been in Sabah for more than three decades) by the many Sabahans (not all, but a handful some) is just so so bad. I understand why you’re pissed, we are all pissed. There are more illegal immigrants in Sabah than there is Sabahan people ourselves! Having lived in Sabah all my life, I have never liked these dehumanizing labels like ‘pilak’, ‘om’, and ‘pilipin’ which is often used by locals to differentiate the difference in status and ethnicity thus giving superior right to anyone to treat these immigrants like “the animals that they are” – according to one family member. By lowering them down as ‘pests’, anyone can mistreat them and used them to their full advantage. Tragic.

But really though, I do wish something is done about the matter of illegal immigrant in Sabah. Find a way (although highly impossible at this point :/) to ‘get rid’ of them. I know it’s a harsh word to use, ‘get rid’, especially since I am against dehumanizing them, but it is a serious problem I feel and as a local, I strongly feel that something must be done to address and remedy the issue instead of just sitting there doing nothing and occasionally dehumanizing them or have them bring about ‘social illness’ and other types of ‘illness’ – stereotype onto immigrants, I’m sure, but I was harassed a few times by them and SABAHANS alike, mind you! UGH!

In the mean time, give more protection, yes protection, should be given to them at some point. They are abused and harassed, and immigrant women are forced to marry or give birth to many children to their husband as it is a sign of virility and masculinity for their husbands as stated in Hilsdon’s 2006 journal article ‘Migration and Human Rights: The Case of Filipino Muslim Women in Sabah, Malaysia’.

Some snippets from the article:

“But they (Muslim Filipina women) often disagreed with their husbands about the number of children they would have. Norminah, who also lives in the green house, told me her husband wants to have one child each year. ‘He’s crazy! I only want four or five but he wants two dozen because he says “I am old already”…. Tausug/Suluk men, they emphasized, regard having children as a sign of their masculinity and virility, even if they do not have a good job.” (Hilsdon, p. 408)

So the next time anyone in your family/friends blame for the overly excessive ‘pilak’ kids on the street, tell them to blame the men :/ Women are more rational it seems! Of course we are, it’s our vaginas that get ripped open whenever a baby gets out of it!

2. LGBT rights

This is pretty self-explanatory why it is a taboo to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. It’s wrong, it’s going against the religion. Fine, fair enough.

At a talk by Marina Mahathir a few years ago, she was asked what was her stance on LGBT. Why does she support it when her father condemns it. In a serious voice, she says. “What they did is wrong, it is wrong in my religion. I do not support what they do, but I do support their right as a human being.” I am inspired.

In an interview about the disturbance during Seksualiti Merdeka in 2011, Marina has this to say, “I have been defending the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community’s rights for over 20 years now. In fact, I defend the rights of all who have been discriminated against, the poor and everyone else. So if there is any discrimination or violence against anyone, I will continue to defend their rights. That’s it. Do you understand?” You can read about the article on this link.

Everyone has a right, just because they are ‘different’, who are you to withdraw their right?

I feel that It’s important to break the stereotype of what gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender is like. They are often linked to sex perhaps due to the negative light media has brought onto LGBT society. Looking at all my gay friends, I don’t think anyone of them have sex like every single day. Heck, one of them is 26 and he’s still a virgin and continues to search for ‘the one’. Too bad there is no such thing as wedding bells for them.

In Malaysia, we are used to seeing ‘pondan’ (transgender/transsexual) who are prostitutes. The reason this is happening is because these so-called ‘pondans’ have no place in society, nobody is willing to hire them regardless of their amazing qualification. So, the only way they can survive in the world is by prostituting themselves. Thus bares the question, who is the one being immoral here? These ‘pondans’/ ‘mak nyahs’ or society ourselves?

3. Degrading women.

Women/girls are associated to being weak and disgraceful.

“He drives like a woman! What a joke!”

“Oh, no wonder horrible driving. It’s a woman!”

“You’re such as pussy!”

“Stop crying like a girl!”

“Stop being such a girl!”

Know your place as a woman/lady

“You can’t succeed in life, it’ll be hard. You’re living in a men’s world, so you might just feel grateful that you are here thus far and stop trying to go up, you’ll just fall.”

“Stop acting like a boy, act like a lady.”

“Your brother can go out, you can’t because you’re a girl. Know your place.”

“Did you wash the dishes? Yes I know you did it yesterday, but it’s your job. You’re a lady, it’s your job. You brother is a boy, cleaning is not his job.”

“You go feed the baby, you’re the mother.”

“You don’t know how to cook? But you’re a woman! How can a woman NOT know how to cook? If a man doesn’t know how to cook, I would understand, but a WOMAN?! What a disgrace!”

“As a wife, you must always respect your husband and be dutiful to him. Tend to his every need. Do not disobey your husband.”

“If you want to go anywhere, you have to ask for your husbands permission.” “But when he goes out, he doesn’t ask for the wives permission! How is that fair?” “Oh course it’s fair, it’s his right as a man.”

This is rape culture

“A woman is raped in a club? Hah! She deserves it! When you become a whore and go to a club dressed like a whore, you deserve to be raped!”

“Ha? A woman was raped in the mall? What was she wearing? A full baju kurung? The baju kurung must be tight or see-through, that’s why she is raped, she’s asking for it! Even if her baju kurung is alright, it must be her personality! Maybe she is flirting with the man, she’s asking for it!”

“Hey, look at that chick. She’s wearing that skanky outfit, she’s definitely asking for it. Let’s go and have some fun.” *walks to lady and starts to cat call which then becomes aggressive when they are ignored*

“How is it that it’s the man’s fault for raping a girl when the girl clearly asking for it?”


“Women make so much noise about not getting enough right. They already conquer the channels on TV with their cooking shows and fashion shows and what not. They have so much choices in clothing stores and lingerie and things. All the magazines are catered to them. And everyone is making such a huge deal about women’s right and all that bullshit. On top of that, feminists are coming out to get all pissed off with us men. One touch and all the laws and feminists comes in with their machete. Seriously, what more do they want???!!! At least give us this small right to overpower them at home! We are men after all! This is OUR world, not theirs!”

So clearly you can understand why this is a problem right?

Thank you for reading and for living constructive comments.

Author: Jasmine

Jasmine is from tropical Borneo. She loves traveling, fashion and all things lifestyle.

2 thoughts on “Taboo views”

  1. Speaking on point of the LGBT rights thing, I think the mentality for a lot of our supporters are still quite fundamentally flawed. It is not enough to say “What they did is wrong, it is wrong in my religion. I do not support what they do, but I do support their right as a human being,” because it still makes all kinds of judgmental and value biased presuppositions. What we need is a situation where people refrain from making any of these statements, period (especially where “right” and “wrong” according to “religion” are concerned!) but I suppose this is one step forward in a rather long journey towards equality.

    Moving on from that the problem with LGBT being viewed as sexual deviants by the majority of non-LGBT may be something that is admittedly the “fault” of the community itself. Not saying all LGBT are like this, but the kinds of images, and personality archetypes that are commonly “paraded” during LGBT empowerment events like Pride Parades are arguably highly sexualized. In fact, when you talk to most LGBT people you will realize that many of them classify their personality archetypes by terms like “twink”, “bear”, “dom”, “sub”, “top”, “bottom”… very problematic if you ask me because these terms are not only essentially superficial in their usage (they refer to a certain body type) but are also derived socio-historically from the context of pornography and pornographic materials!

    Many young LGBT are told to embrace and celebrate these terms (by gay media and other forms of information dissemination) and I think it presents a very huge problem because if you present yourself through terms that are pornographic in origin, how can we expect an already close minded society to see us beyond any number of “perverse” sexual acts we supposedly get up to in the bedroom.

    I think its time to stop simply blaming the “straights” and conservatives for our problems (although in many cases there IS blame to be held) and to look introspectively instead at the ways we have come to understand and embody “LGBT-ness” ourselves.

Sprinkle me

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