Saturday, May 27, 2006

Malaysian Sex Machines?

Prof Mahmud Zuhdi Abdul Majid, a lecturer in Universiti Malaya's Islamic Academic Studies, has proposed a solution to the alleged issue of ‘gatal-ness’ (lechery) or vice among Muslim women. He didn't mention man’s miang-ness (also, lechery) but his solution may have partial solution to that as well.

Prof Mahmud Zuhdi Abdul Majid

I reckon his innovative proposal may be in response to the recent controversy about women’s lechery raised by an Islamic Party (PAS) politician, Abdul Fatah Harun, the “honourable” PAS member for Rautau Panjang, who told the august (?) house of Parliament “If we see women who don’t have husbands and are divorced not because their husbands are dead, (it must be because) they are ‘gatal sikit’”

The Malaysian word ‘gatal sikit’ literally means ‘a little itchy’ but really means lustful, lecherous or randy.

Mind you, many female MPs from both ruling and opposition parties doubt he merits the parliamentary member's honorific title of “honourable”. They gave him a mega-tonnage earful to which he remained rather oblivious, being of the 'superior' gender ;-)

On that matter, of women MPs jumping up in outrage like cats on a hot tin roof, I also mentioned my disappointment with the lady MP from Permatang Pauh, PKR President Dr Wan Azizah (wife of Anwar Ibrahim). She remained deafeningly silent to Abdul Fatah Harun’s misogynist remarks, unless of course I missed her objection.

Her reluctance to speak up on behalf of women's rights and dignity explained why PKR had been a general failure with Malaysians. As I mentioned, and I mention it again, there is an unfavourable perception, especially among non-Muslims, that PKR has been seen to behave in a subordinate and very passive manner to the loose cannon policies of its more dominating ally, PAS.

I blogged on all that in Gatal versus Miang and PAS reluctant to scratch 'gatal' bloke.

Anyway, back to Prof Mahmud Zuhdi Abdul Majid’s proposal, that of the Islam-sanctioned misyar marriage.

According to the learned scholar, the difference between misyar and a polygamous marriage was that the husband did not have to provide money or clothing for his other wife but only be there to satisfy her sexual needs.

A win-win situation! Straight for the jugular (or a little lower), the good Prof has shown a way to solve human needs. Abraham Maslow, if still alive, would have been proud to see his Hierarchy of Needs kicking into action.

The Prof reckoned if Malaysians practise misyar marriage, the rising number of unmarried divorcees and women coule be overcome, though he is of course assuming that sex has been the only issue. But hey, he is a Prof and who am I to question him!

He said that renowned Islamic ulama Dr Yusuf al-Qardawi in his edict pronounced misyar as legal as it could solve the problems of unmarried women or divorcees. Thus it was hardly surprising that the practice was allowed and deemed to be necessary by several ulamas in some countries in the Middle East. It’s all up to Malaysia’s Fatwa Council to study if it could be implemented in Malaysia.

He revealed that this arrangement is popular in the Middle East involving rich women who had difficulty looking for a life partner.

Wow, and I have always wanted a rich wife (or wives). I wonder whether I could adopt the misyar marriage concept for practice among non-Muslims in our Islamic nation, but I have a (mind you, much higher) feeling that sweet lassies like the Honourable Teresa Kok and her Amazon companions may ... eh ... 'make' me qualify for the Vienna Boys Choir. Gulp!

Not surprising, Kelantan Mentri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat of PAS has given his support to misyar marriages, which he reminded us were allowed in Islam. He said such marriages where the husbands only provide sex but not material responsibility would be viable if consent had been obtained from the women who were willing to enter into such arrangements.

Responding to objections by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who said such sex-oriented marriages do not meet the needs of a modern society, he said, hey hey: “It is for them [women] to decide if they want their spouses to provide for their sexual needs once a week or once a month.”

What if they want it every day? And for some, even several times a day? Gulp!

Then the frightening question of female exigencies exceeding the husbands’ performance envelope could become a troubling issue. This was what I meant when I mentioned earlier that Prof Mahmud Zuhdi Abdul Majid’s proposal may have only ‘partial’ solution to the 'miang-ness' of men.

Those poor sex machines could be put off, even grinding to an exhausted overheated stop. And in the absence of satisfactory acquittal of contractual arrrangements by the male partner, oh my god, the insidious 'gatal-ness' could creep in again. And even worse, what about the frustration of their non-misyar spouses with their husbands' attrited inability to boot-up and download?

OK, what about human dignity? Nik Abdul Aziz said the issue of women being insulted by such arrangements did not arise because they had already given their consent. She wants sex, and she can’t get it because of her no-marriage status, well, that’s the price she has to pay. Hey babes, it'll all be on paper.

What if those unfortunate women can’t recruit a husband even under the misyar arrangement? They could possess certain ‘attributes’ that have disadvantaged them in the first place, which had been the reasons for their difficulties in getting married, either for the first time or again.

Ah, diffficult questions for a poor bloke like me to answer - didn't I say I wasn't a Prof?