the ministers silent about the period check? One wonders if anything
will come from this latest scandal. When religion is involved, the
authorities are impotent.
So, how much more of this sexual abuse will
the Malay community tolerate? How much more public humiliation and
mental torture can the Malay woman accept? Her shoulders may be broad,
her patience may be as good as any saint's, and her temper kept in
check, but perhaps, the time has come for her to be more proactive and more vocal about the abuses against her peers.
"period checks" being conducted on schoolgirls to see if they are
really menstruating has nothing to do with religion. In Islam, a
menstruating woman is not allowed to perform the ritual prayer, nor to
fast. The religion does not force checks
on people to see what is stopping them from praying. It does not force
you to pray if you do not want to. It does not encourage others to pry
into your affairs.
this begs the question, does the perpetrator really know Islam? Or are
the perpetrators using religion to play out their sexual fantasies?
to see if the girls are wearing sanitary pads or having their panties
checked is nothing more than sexual harassment. Snide comments, such as
"Are you desperate for a penis?", were allegedly reserved for the girl
who did not use sanitary pads but preferred tampons. Have some Malays
lost their self-respect?
Why do we allow sexual predators to run
wild in our schools? The chances of them being found out are low and
they are probably never punished, even if they are exposed. It has taken
20 years for this scandal to be revealed.
The menstrual period check does not seem to be an isolated incident because the reports came from former pupils from a wide range
of schools, races and religions. Both boys and girls were subjected to
humiliation. Some boys alleged that their genitals were groped to see if
they were hiding mobile phones. The practice continues today.
is unlikely that officers in the Education Department were oblivious to
the workings of the schools. They must have been aware of this
abhorrent practice. The ministers may not have been aware of these
period checks, but the school heads must. Did they think it was right?
If they did, one wonders what sort of other abuses go on under their
Do the teachers who took part in the period checks not
realise that they are wrong? If that were the case, how badly educated
are our teachers when they cannot differentiate between right and wrong.
How well do they understand their religion - Islam?
period checks part of an unwritten SOP, or is something concrete written
in the manuals held at the ministry? How widespread is the practice of
period checks in government or Mara schools? What about the unregulated
tahfiz and religious schools? What other sexual abuses do they get up
If we had sex education
in schools and proper religious education, these things may not have
happened. Girls would be better informed. Still, many of these girls
realise that it was sexual harassment.
a Penangite and a former director of social services in a London
borough with many years of working with troubled youths, said, "It's
unbelievable that any person or any institution could sanction a
religious diktat which allows the gathering of evidence by frisking
“This is an institutional abuse of children
in public and a crime against young people. (In UK) if girls were to
report this to social services, it would be investigated. If it goes on
in British establishments, inspectors would come in, close it down if
evidence came out. If there is strong evidence, it would become a
criminal case. Such practices are not tolerated in Britain. It’s a
The fear and shame of public groping and show of panties
force some schoolgirls to break the taboo of prayer whilst menstruating.
One man who condoned period checks tweeted, "How else are you
going to check if girls are menstruating or not?" Are period checks a
common aspect of Malay family life, in this new era of Islamicisation?
education in schools needs an overhaul. Will the Education and
Religious Affairs ministers scrutinise what is being taught? What is the
quality of our teachers?
Will the period checks in Malaysian
schools be stopped? Will the ministries of Women, Family & Community
Development, and Education act immediately to protect our girls? Will
the perpetrators be brought to justice?