The debacle surrounding the much hoped for New Year group sex party reviewed. I arrive at the usual conclusions on the Tourism Minister Azalina Othman, the Royal Malaysian Police and the local politically controlled mainstream media.
Recently, there was a great deal of hullabaloo in the Malaysian media about private group sex parties. The first media report on it was at the end of the last year when Tourism Minister Azalina Othman was reported to have said ‘[a] sex party is against our culture and religion and if it went on, it would damage the country’s reputation worldwide.’ She was referring to a rumoured group sex beach party supposed to be held at a remote beach in the state of Johor where men were banned from wearing briefs and women were commanded to only wear G-string underwear which had to be removed after midnight. The Minister urged New Year party revelers not to participate because, ‘There are other events organised to usher the New Year which are hip, fun and suitable to our culture.’
This statement clearly demonstrates our Tourism Minister’s poor grasp of the power and attraction of sex as compared to many other things. The only thing that can rival sex in attention is probably only power and money. So unless those events were handing out the latter two, you can bet that generally if people had the chance, they’d rather greet the New Year shagging their asses off instead of doing some cliched, repetitive (you did it last year already), boring and formal countdown. Why countdown with your arms when you can countdown to the thrust of your hips?
The Tourism Minister also claims that if these parties continued it would damage our country’s reputation worldwide. However, she conveniently fails to elaborate just how the damage would occur. Furthermore, just which part exactly of our country’s reputation worldwide she is talking about? She seems to forget there’s the Malaysia’s reputation for being a hub for regional intellectual property piracy, human and drug trafficking, institutionalized racism and religious bigotry, and a transit point for militant Islamist extremists. Would the addition of annual sex parties now hurt our reputation in those areas?
The Tourism Minister also clearly shows herself unfit for her role when she is unable to see the tourism potential to these annual orgies of flesh. The sexual elements from these annual beach parties could be removed and it can be developed into a tourist event as happened with Ko Pha Ngan’s legendary Full Moon Party in Thailand. The recent entry at Wikipedia says this:
The first Full Moon Party was improvised at a wooden disco not far from the beach in 1985 for giving thanks to about 20-30 travelers. The Full Moon Party gained fame quickly through word of mouth, and the event now draws a crowd about 20,000-30,000 every full moon evening. The party carries on until the sun rises the next day. All the bars on the sunset beach of Haad Rin town stay open and play music such as R&B, drum and bass, house and reggae.
The event has become a part of the itinerary of many travelers to Asia. Entry to the event is completely free. In recent years, local entrepreneurs have attempted to expand upon the event with spinoffs like the Half Moon Party and Black Moon Party.
So take that Tourism Minister! 20,000 – 30,000 every month just for that party, not to mention all the spin offs from that. And Malaysia has organizers and people who know how to do it right as seen from The Rainforest World Music Festival that has been held in Kuching over the last few years and is quietly growing in stature.
Whilst I would accept that group sex is generally not encouraged in major mainstream religions, I am not as certain as the Tourism Minister that it is not part of our culture. Firstly, the sexual proclivities of our citizenry are very poorly documented now because of the mainly oral traditions of our literature. Even when reduced to writing, the literature concerns itself mainly with the proclivities of our past royalty and their supposed magnificence. Secondly, sexual matters are hardly discussed frankly and in a mature fashion here especially amongst the educated even in the 21st century. In fact, issues relating to sex tend to be associated with immorality never mind what it is about. Thirdly, Islamist developments taking place in this country have suppressed and repressed the Malay sexuality forcing its manifestation into more outre sexual relations i.e. group sex, public sexual acts (the dusun durian apparently is quite a popular place) and one night stands, because the normal heterosexual relationship is under so much stress from expectations not just from family but society including the Federal and State religious authorities. The Tourism Minister should be more honest of her cultural knowledge of our nation’s sexual scene and orientation and admit ignorance when she does not know.
As if fearing that the Tourism Minister’s declaration of cultural incompatibility is insufficient, Johor criminal investigation department chief Amer Awal claimed that the sex party was ‘likely to be a fraud designed to cheat potential partygoers out of the ticket price.’ His use of the word ‘likely’ is significant because it is an indication he actually doesn’t know what he is talking about and is just shooting his mouth off, saying anything he can think of to dissuade would be orgy revelers from going. This is emphasized in his parting shot when he says, ‘The idea of organising such a party is far-fetched but the state Religious Department and local councils have all been informed.’
After the warnings and declarations, the maligned beach group sex orgy that was supposed to have taken place failed to materialize. Instead on 1 January 2009, we were greeted with reassuring news that 24 New Year revelers were busted at a purported sex and drugs party at a Kuala Lumpur hotel. Apparently, the authorities found various illegal substances, including cocaine, ketamine and amphetamines. Furthermore, it was claimed that condoms, beer cans and half-eaten pizza were found strewn around the hotel room and about 9 people tested positive for drugs that evening. Apparently, the said party was organized through Friendster.
More details came through after the initial hysterical news report on the party. It was clarified that when the police stormed the apartment, even though there were lots of people they were all ‘fully clothed’ and the few condoms lying around were unused. So the much hoped for sex party did not happen here either.
To cover up their and the media’s incompetence, ‘Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department chief Ku Chin Wah said yesterday that the case had been handed over to the city narcotics department for further action because of the drugs found.’ The sum of the entire raid is that the police raided the place for sexual offences but ended up with the run of the mill drug ones. This raises serious questions about the competence of the police’s intelligence to have got it so completely wrong. And anyway, I fail to see what penal code offence there is against people wanting to indulge in group sex in private premises. There is nothing illegal about that; immoral perhaps from the standpoint of local cultural morality and religions but certainly not illegal. So private group sex parties are none of the State religious authority’s business nor the local authorities’.
This entire episode also shows the recklessness and lack of responsibility on the part of our media in wanting to sensationalize the news. Among those arrested were a beautiful 22-year-old woman newscaster with a private TV network, a 24-year-old part-time actress, a disc jockey and several students. Fadhal A. Ghani from the New Straits Times was representative of this when he wrote: ‘Condoms, beer cans and half-eaten pizzas were strewn all over the floor.’ Thus giving the impression that there was sex, alcohol and the influence Western culture were to corrupt the present youth there who were promiscuous, irresponsible and disgraceful. He felt no need to mention that the condoms reportedly found there were unused.
Instead of pointing out the semblance of responsibility on the youth’s part in the age of a variety of sexually transmitted diseases (the Age of AIDS and STD), they are instead condemned for their sexuality which is something entirely natural. A person in their teens is also in part of their sexual prime. To condemn them for this is like condemning them for breathing. And to do so without giving a full and frank disclosure of the facts is an abdication of their responsibilities as a socially responsible corporate body.
That one ill written piece may have ruined the careers of at least 2 beautiful women with a bourgeoning career, but they will do it so long as they can make a buck. The lesson to be learnt from this entire sex party debacle is that the people who wanted the sex party the most was really the police and the media, with the clueless Tourism Minister as their foil. She needs the publicity to keep her face in the press and so she’ll give her comments on anything, even on something that doesn’t exist. The police wanted an excuse to raid a youth party so that they can embarrass, humiliate and take out all their frustrations on them when rounding them up. I for one would like to see what the first information report stated (this is the first police report or complaint lodged on an incident that would be the starting point of investigations). The local media will do whatever it takes to sell their papers especially if its other people’s because they have sold their own a long, long time ago.