Speaking at a forum, Panellist speaker Dr Harlina Siraj openly called CodeBlue Editor-In-Chief Boo Su-Lyn a “lizard brain” when she asked about premarital sex.
Harlina, who was an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, was part of a panel discussion on the role of religion in tackling unintended pregnancies in Malaysia.
Also present at the forum was Associate Professor Dr Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar, the president of International Women’s Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education (WAFIQ).
However, when the editor-in-chief questioned if men and women who may or may not wish to get married should abstain from sex entirely, Dr Harlina allegedly claimed that she has a “lizard brain” and was acting on animal instincts.
Both Dr Rafidah and Dr Harlina have expressed strong disagreement with the ‘hook-up culture’ and the use of contraceptives that will encourage this culture.
Probably worse than calling me a slut at an open forum. 🙄— Boo Su-Lyn (@boosulyn) May 20, 2022
At least sluts are still human.
But I’m primal like an animal, apparently. pic.twitter.com/uYsOpeLypg
Those remarks sparked a heated debate on social media with netizens being surprised by the judgmental tone used by the panellists, especially in their role as healthcare providers, while others agreed on abstinence-led education for youth.
In a tweet later, Dr Rafidah said that she disagrees that engaging in premarital protected sex is a sign of moving forward, reiterating that abstinence as the way to go.
However, this is contrary with the government’s effort to advocate for the importance of sexual and reproductive health services, including access to contraceptives.
Speaking at a conference on 21 May, Secretary-general Maziah Che Yusoff of the Department of Women, Family, and Community Development (KPWKM) reiterated the government’s commitment to increase awareness about contraption and sexual and reproductive health.
Nonetheless, Malaysia has the highest cases of baby-dumping in Southeast Asia, with about 100 babies dumped yearly. This also suggests that our current abstinence-only education is not sufficient.
If unwanted pregnancies were less of a problem in the country, there would not have been a need for this discussion.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!