By Haziqah Qistina Binti Mohamad Anwar
Malaysia is a sovereign country in which the security of the blue blood should be well protected to assure its peace as it is one of the pillars that makes the country acquired its freedom over 64 years ago. Without a clean parliament and the royals, Malaysia would not have, or would have its independence differently than it is today. Needless to say, the security of the royal family is considered to be one of the aspects in the National Security of Malaysia. Any types of extensive mocking or ‘jokes’ could be seen as a potential threat towards them as in these ‘jokes’ could possibly lie a deeper meaning, and this cannot be lightly looked upon, especially if it could trample on the security and sovereignity of the country.
Jokes are not all innocence. While jokes are intentionally made to humor people, some jokes are cynical, manipulative, have double meaning or also known as double entendre, which could be implying suggestive behavior such as awkward, sexually suggestive, or offensive. The concept of security is easier to understand when we look into a larger narrative, such as the whole country being at stake from the taking of a joke, where it could be the next suggestive idea of manipulation or seditious act as it is a direct major threat towards the wellbeing of the nation itself. But what about one that is closer to home? One that is smaller, but just as suggestive, alarming and harmful.
In 1994, post cold war, Mahbub Ul – Haq brought the matter to United Nation regarding where instead of just focusing on the bigger scope, (national security), one must consider into the aspect of human security, which branches to make a national security whole. Human security targets towards individual’s safety and livelihood, it is to have an assurance that one should never fear and threatened from wanting or doing something which is rightfully theirs, such as, a stroll in the park, shopping, going to school, and so on. Having this breached, people would be terrified to even live a normal life as they should, in a peaceful, sovereign, independent country. Simply put, human rights.
A few weeks back, Malaysia was alarmed by a female high school student of age 17, when she exposes the ill treatment of a so called ‘educator’ where he made sexual ‘jokes’ in the class, upon the post’s statement on her social media platform went viral, things escalated and she received rape ‘jokes’ from her classmates. What was more alarming is that these actions were done not just by immature kids, but adults, even those holding the title ‘educators’. Disgusting posts and threats of harassment were coming at her like a barrage.
A young girl who showed an act of bravery, claiming for her safety and rights out of fear was gaslighted instead, by saying that she couldn’t take a joke. But if a joke means to instill uncomfort, fear and suggestive demeanor, would it be a joke or a threat? It is a simple question, a common sense, which unfortunately, not many have it. Likewise, jokes aren’t just jokes, sometimes it implies suggestive behavior. Where there is suggestive behavior, threats will follow, and it is only a matter of time before it could evolve into action.
Girls, boys, women, men, all are equally deserving of having their safety assured. But when it is breached, it is as simple as understanding this is an act of crime, and matters should be brought forward and instant action should be taken to curb it. After all, what is an independent country without assured safety towards its people?
Writer is a final semester student of Masters of Arts in Information and Media Warfare, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)
** The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of M-Update