Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jangan

Jangan sengaja lewatkan solat. Perbuatan ini Allah tidak suka. Kalau tertidur lain cerita. 

Jangan masuk ke bilik air tanpa memakai alas kaki (selipar). Takut kalau-kalau terbawa keluar najis, mengotori seluruh rumah kita. 

Jangan makan dan minum dalam bekas yang pecah atau sumbing. Makruh kerana ia membahayakan.  Jangan biarkan pinggan mangkuk yang telah digunakan tidak berbasuh. Makruh dan mewarisi kepapaan. 

Jangan tidur selepas solat Subuh, nanti rezeki mahal (kerana berpagi-pagi itu membuka pintu berkat).

Jangan makan tanpa membaca BISMILLAH dan doa makan. Nanti rezeki kita dikongsi syaitan. 

Jangan keluar rumah tanpa niat untuk membuat kebaikan. Takut-takut kita mati dalam perjalanan. 

Jangan pakai sepatu atau selipar yang berlainan pasangan. Makruh dan mewarisi kepapaan. 

Jangan biarkan mata liar di perjalanan. Nanti hati kita gelap diselaputi dosa. 

Jangan bergaul bebas ditempat kerja. Banyak buruk dari baiknya. 

Jangan menangguh taubat bila berbuat dosa kerana mati boleh datang bila-bila masa. 

Jangan ego untuk meminta maaf pada ibu bapa dan sesama manusia kalau memang kita bersalah. 

Jangan mengumpat sesama rakan taulan. Nanti rosak persahabatan kita hilang bahagia. 

Jangan  lupa bergantung kepada ALLAH dalam setiap kerja kita. Nanti kita sombong apabila berjaya. Kalau gagal kecewa pula.  Jangan  bakhil untuk bersedekah. Sedekah itu memanjangkan umur dan memurahkan rezeki kita. 

Jangan banyak ketawa. Nanti mati jiwa. 

Jangan biasakan berbohong, kerana ia adalah ciri-ciri munafik dan menghilangkan kasih orang kepada kita. 

Jangan suka menganiaya manusia atau haiwan. Doa makhluk yang teraniaya cepat dimakbulkan ALLAH. 

Jangan terlalu susah hati dengan urusan dunia. Akhirat itu lebih utama dan hidup di sana lebih lama dan kekal selamanya.

Jangan mempertikaikan kenapa ISLAM itu berkata JANGAN. Sebab semuanya untuk keselamatan kita.  ALLAH lebih tahu apa yang terbaik untuk hamba ciptaanNya.

**Ilmu itu lebih baik daripada harta. Ilmu menjaga engkau dan engkau menjaga harta. Ilmu itu penghukum (hakim) dan harta terhukum. Harta itu kurang apabila dibelanjakan tapi ilmu bertambah bila dibelanjakan.**



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Innerself to the fore

Monday, October 2, 2000
Issues

Innerself to the fore

TRANSSEXUALS who are educated and hold responsible positions in society now call themselves Mak Nyah Baru. They run businesses, work as consultants and are involved in professional pursuits. They know their rights and are empowered to exercise them. Activists like Khartini Slamah look forward to the day when Mak Nyahs are no longer associated with sex work and drug addiction.

Even as some transsexuals find advancement in society, a large percentage of them still struggle with the daily trials and tribulations of being a transsexual in a less than accepting society.

Khartini Slamah, 37

Eldest son among seven siblings, Khartini, former senior manager of Pink
Triangle, talks about her relationship with her family based in Bau, Sarawak:

"I knew my sexuality since I was eight. I already felt like a female in a male body. I prefer to mix with girls. I felt strange when sleeping together with boys in the same room. My mannerisms were very feminine, which irked my father.

"Once he threatened to throw me out of the window for wanting to be a
girl, but he later apologised. Then my uncle cut my hair short and I
became sick for two weeks.

"I remember following my father to work. He was with the Public Works
Department and he wanted to toughen me up by letting me sit with him in
a bulldozer and do macho stuff like that.

"My uncle was very religious. He made me pray five times a day to change
myself. I know they all love me and are concerned, and I don't want to
hurt them. I tried to change. I tried not to be who I really am inside.
But I felt like I was pretending, like I was lying to them and to
myself. I even blamed God for making me this way. It was so difficult.
That's why I came to the Peninsula when I was 18.

"I always felt like I failed my father who wanted a son out of me. But
on the day I was to leave my kampung, I saw my father crying in the
house as I was going down the steps of my house. I knew then that he
loved me despite everything.

"I am still respected as the first son. When my siblings got married, I
would go home and, as the first son, bless them. But I would dress as I
always do, as a woman. Guests at the ceremonies would wonder, which is
the brother?

"My mother loves me for who I am. She is always on my side. Besides
religion, she is the other reason why I have not gone through the sexual
reassignment surgery. I will not break her heart.

"I brought my family to the Pink Triangle office, and they had a culture
shock. I explained to them the nature of my work--working with other Mak
Nyahs, sex workers, drug users and HIV-positive people. I hide nothing
from them. Through time, our relationship has strengthened.

"I am strong and confident now because of my family. Family is so
important. I hope parents can understand their transsexual children and
give them the love and support they need. Without that love and support,
they will lose their way.''

Khartini is now a freelance consultant on HIV/AIDS and drug addiction
issues.


Sulastri Ariffin, 38

Born as Dina Selama in Kuching, Sulastri is manager of Ikhlas, Pink
Triangle (Kuala Lumpur) programme on sex workers and drug users. Like
most transsexuals, she felt she was different from other children since
she was five. Her personal conflicts over her identity began in school
where she was taunted and bullied for being effeminate:

"My schoolmates asked me why I walked the way I did. It really hit me. I
never realised I walked different. It was just the way I am.

"It hurt that they called me pondan. I remember trying so hard to walk
like a man. Even then, my schoolmates tried to keep away from me.

"I always felt different. At puberty, I became attracted to men. 'Why
not women?' I kept asking myself. I was very confused and it affected my
studies.

"I fought to suppress my desire to be a woman. I kept asking myself but
got no answers. I was a smart student, but I could not concentrate on my
studies.

"I began to play truant. I hung out with friends who were like me. We
talked about our feelings. Then I started to cross-dress and put on
make-up. That made me happy.

"My father saw the changes in me. He said: 'It's not easy being a woman,
you know?' He never taunted me, just asked me why I am the way I am. I
have no answers. All I know is that the feeling of being a woman is so
strong inside me.

"After my Form Five exams, I knew I couldn't stay in my hometown. I left
to work as a cook in Brunei. I cross-dressed full-time. I felt good
about it, but I was still unhappy. No one told me it was okay to be who
I was. We only listened to what society says about us--we are bad,
abnormal, sick. And we are forced to accept their interpretation of us.

"I moved to the Peninsula on friends' advice that the environment here
is more tolerant of people like us. I have my gang of friends and we
were happy putting on heavy make-up and dressing up to the hilt. I
thought we looked very strange to outsiders but we didn't care. We just
wanted to look attractive.

"We were very happy when men told us that we were beautiful. Of course
some jeered us, it was just part of a transsexual's life.''

Sulastri went into sex work between 1983 and 1989. In 1990, she was
introduced to Pink Triangle by Khartini. She followed Khartini to
meetings and to outreach work, but never thought anything of it. When
Khartini offered her a job in 1993, her life changed.

"As an outreach worker, I regained my self-confidence. Gradually I felt
more in control of my life and for the first time, my life held meaning.
I started to accept myself and understood that the reason why I felt bad
for so long was because of society's stigmatisation of transsexuals.

"All my life I had been accepting what people said about me. Now I feel
I have something good to contribute to my life.''


Fifi, 30

A part-time showgirl, Fifi is now in between jobs. Five years ago, Fifi
was a senior artist with a five-star hotel. When the hotel changed
management, she was told to go because of her transsexuality. Today she
volunteers her time and services at the Community AIDS Service Penang.

"I started working at the hotel when I was 19, as a printer boy in the
art and design department. I worked myself up to senior artist level in
five years. The hotel used to win many awards for best decor and most
creative design when I was the senior artist.

"Then the new GM came. He didn't like me. Towards the end, I received
orders to cut my hair, and I did because I wanted to keep my job. But I
was sacked anyway.

"I took my case to the labour department. The hotel was ordered to
reinstate me, and pay me RM10,000 in compensation. I knew I could go
further and sue the hotel for wrongful dismissal. But I didn't. If I
lose, I won't get anything. Moreover I thought that people like me don't
stand a chance in court.

"I returned to work at the hotel, but things got really uncomfortable.
So I quit. If things weren't so bad, I would have moved on to be public
relations officer.

"Since I left the job, I have been doing shows and performances, ad hoc.
In 1998, while performing in a show, I was arrested for cross-dressing
and acting indecently. I was fined RM900. I was afraid to go outdoors
after the raid.

"I still do shows, but gigs are not regular. When I had a regular job, I
had a proper schedule. It's like my life had form and shape. Now, my
life is chaotic. No proper time to sleep, to work, and for other
activities.''

Fifi recently applied for a job in a paging company. If she gets it, she
would have proper employment yet remain unseen by the public.

"Things are more sophisticated now. Everything's about computers and IT.
I mean it is good that our country is moving so fast, but people like us
get left behind. There's no place for us.

"I know I have a lot of talent to be working in a paging company. But
that's okay, it's still a job. I don't want to hope too much, just take
things as they come.''


Sharon, 38

A sex worker, Sharon walks the streets in Penang. She has had breast
reconstruction and takes hormone pills to maintain a feminine figure.

"I have been a sex worker for 10 years. Before that, you name it, I have
done everything.

"My father used to beat me up for being effeminate. I can't help myself.
I ran away from home when I was a teenager. When I was 21, I heard that
my dad died. That really affected me.

"I became a sex worker because I can earn more money compared with other
jobs. I was not forced by anyone; it was just the circumstances. I
couldn't get better jobs that pay more, or get promoted because of the
way I look.

"Working in Penang is better, safer. When I was in KL, there were so
many raids; once or twice a week. I have gotten arrested so many times
and each time the fines got higher and higher. How could I earn a
living? They really chased us like dogs. I've fallen into drains, picked
myself up and continued running.

"Being locked up was a really scary experience. They stripped us naked
in front of other men, including detainees in the lock-up. Then they
would humiliate us. They like using rubber-bands to lastik our breasts.

"But the worst thing is cutting our hair. Because, what can we do when
we are let out? Men don't want us if we have short hair and look like
men.''

Sharon still keeps her wig even though it has been years since her last
arrest. "Just in case.''


Regina Ibrahim, 38

A former teacher, Regina is now a full-time singer and emcee. She is
also active in the Community AIDS Service Penang (CASP) and a Universiti
Sains Malaysia programme helping her "sisters''.

"Reaching this stage of life, I tell myself: 'Accept the gift from the
almighty Allah. Be strong and move on.'

"Fifteen years ago, I was not able to utter such a phrase, let alone
accept myself. In the new millennium, society still considers
transsexuality a sickness, but there are those of us who have found
ourselves and are not afraid to hope and dream.

"I try not to blame the public for condemning our community. At the very
least they can acknowledge our existence. Believe me, it is really hard
when, at a tender age, you realise that you are not the same like other
boys in school. I remember the moment I put on female attire, I knew I
had come home. I was at peace with my feelings, my identity.

"But that is not all. Being able to come to terms with my identity
despite all the social opposition is one thing. To be accepted and
treated with tolerance and respect is another.

"People ask me how I gained self-esteem and confidence, being a Mak
Nyah. Achieving confidence and self-esteem is a lifetime struggle. But
it can be attained if Mak Nyahs are willing to persevere.

"Education is the most crucial factor to get up in life, regardless of
gender. It doesn't have to mean getting into universities or
institutions of higher learning. Try your very best to learn as much as
you can, in addition to learning some skills. Education is not merely
academic in nature.

"Setting your goal does not just mean aiming to become a woman. Just
because you are different does not mean you can't have a dream. Look for
strategies and solutions to have a better life. Ask yourself what you
really want, and seek it. Good support is needed, so be with
positive-thinking people. If you need help, get in touch with
organisations like CASP, or Pink Triangle in Kuala Lumpur.

"Many transsexuals claim that the public do not respect them. But do we
respect ourselves? Behaving and dressing as decently as you can helps,
but so does having a little bit of humour when people make fun of us.
Remember that there are many good people around. Believe me, soon you
will enjoy the sweetness of being respected.

"Everybody needs support no matter how brave he or she claims to be. The
closest entity is your family, but not everyone is lucky to have such
precious support. Tell me, how do parents support their son who wants to
be a woman? It is difficult. Do not be disillusioned. Approach them with
courage and wisdom. Explain to them your pain. Do not be a recluse and
isolate yourself from family and society. Work hard to prove that you
are useful to your family and society. Be extra helpful when needed.
Avoid being rebellious.

"In time, you will regain their trust and God willing, the painful
period will soon end. Support can also be found among trusted friends.
Transsexuals need not hang out with their community only. We may be
'different' but good traits apply to everyone.

"My only plea to society is, acknowledge our existence. Be patient with
us, empathise with us, so that we can work hand-in-hand with the rest of
the citizens for the nation's growth.''

Pink Triangle can be contacted at ( 03-4044 4611 / e-mail:
isham@pop7.jaring.my), Community AIDS Service Penang (CASP) at ( 04-229
9566 / e-mail: p_h_yap@hotmail.com).




Friday, August 15, 2008

In no man's land

Monday, October 2, 2000
Issues

In no man's land
By Ong Ju Lynn


IN 1993, a male transsexual lodged a police report that he was raped by
a police inspector, a senior Immigration officer and an employment
agent.

None of the three were charged with rape. The Attorney-General's
Chambers concluded that the victim was legally a male, and as such
nullifies the accusation of rape.

Under the Penal Code, rape is defined as penetration of the male sexual
organ into the female sexual organ, hence rape can only happen between
man and woman. The male transsexual in this case may have undergone
sexual reassignment surgery and possesses a female sexual organ, but
under the law, she is not a woman thus she is not protected by laws on
rape.

And if a post-operative transsexual willingly has sex with a man, she
will be breaking the law herself. In the first place, she is still a man
in the eyes of the law, and the Penal Code states that a sex act between
two men is "against the order of nature'' and is therefore an offence.

"As far as the law is concerned, the transsexual is in no man's land,''
says lawyer Nora Murat of the All Women's Action Society (Awam), a
non-governmental organisation.

In civil law, there is no mention of transsexuals as an entity.
Previously, non-Muslim transsexuals and transvestites were frequently
arrested by the police and charged under Section 21 of the Minor
Offences Act 1955.

"There have been many cases of transsexuals hauled in despite them just
sleeping in their rooms or having a meal in a restaurant,'' says Leena
Ghosh of the Legal Aid Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

"Cross-dressing is not a crime per se in civil law. Previously,
transsexuals just pleaded guilty and paid the fine. Now, we've had a few
Mak Nyahs claiming trial, which puts the onus on the police to prove
that the accused were involved in 'indecent behaviour' which is an
ingredient of the charge, and not cross-dressing,'' explains Ghosh.

Following dialogues between Pink Triangle, the Legal Aid Centre and the
police, harassment of Mak Nyahs has decreased.

Islamic law, however, specifically prohibits cross-dressing. Muslim
transsexuals can be charged with cross-dressing under state Syariah
laws.

"Under the Federal Territory Syariah Offences Act 1997 relating to
cross-dressing, there is a provision that allows for any convicted
transsexual to undergo rehabilitation,'' says Ghosh.

"Section 7 of this Act can be widely interpreted. Anyone insulting and
bringing into contempt the religion through writing or any visible
representation can be charged under this section. It may be used to
prosecute anyone who has done the sex change surgery.

"The question is, can the transsexual's feminine appearance be
considered 'visible representation' that is a transgression against
religion?

"So far there has been no proper trial involving a case of this nature.
If there is, it would set a precedent that could seriously affect the
fate of transsexual Muslims in this country.''




Friday, August 1, 2008

In defense of bad sex

Monday, September 04, 2000

In defense of bad sex
Skip the soft lighting, satin teddies and candles, and just tumble


By Veronique Vienne
From UnderWire

Enough sex-by-the-numbers already. Enough month-by-month guides to amazing
lust. Enough secrets-of-sexy-stars surveys. Let's bring back the chaotic, the
disheveled, the hasty intercourse. Let's celebrate bad sex.


To me, bad sex means aimlessly groping in the dark, blindly chewing one
another alive, slowly mapping out fleshy landscapes in the moonlight. Covers
are kicked from the bed, a coffee cup spills its murky contents on the
carpet, a stray pillow knocks the receiver off the phone. In less than 10
minutes, a pair of bad lovers should be able to turn their boudoir into a
hovel, before falling asleep in a slovenly pile.

Sexuality is an assault on conventional order — but no whips or chains for
me. All it takes to make me feel deliciously wanton is a slight sense of
domestic unrest: an unmade bed, a 5 o'clock shadow, bread crumbs on wrinkled
sheets, newspapers scattered on the floor or shoe boxes spilling out of open
closet doors. One word, one look, one object askew, and the place is abuzz
with carnal possibilities.

To sex pundits who advise that you rekindle your connubial pleasures by
lighting scented candles, rubbing one another's backs with massage oils and
donning red satin teddies, I say, Pulleeeez! All that stuff is so desperately
natty. If you really want to feel the heat of sexual desire, get down and
dirty. Sex is not the search engine for your pristine ego. It's a primitive
and baffling way to get sticky fingers and sticky thighs.

Performance anxiety is never an issue when two people feel comfortable
treating one another like worn-out sofas. Maybe that's why the most
disappointing sexual encounters often turn out to be the most endearing
moments of closeness in a couple's lifetime.

I remember the afternoon we broke the vanity mirror in the cheap motel. The
dry bouts of fornication against the radiator. The way he used to turn off
the light before removing his trousers after he lost his job. The time he
tried to make me happy on the library's marble steps. The many instances when
I felt too fat to have an orgasm. And the night I broke into an
uncontrollable yawn as he guided my hand toward his genitals.

Bad sex is about forgiveness. And love.

Veronique Vienne is a free-lance writer who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She
writes for many magazines, including House & Garden, Metropolis, Graphis,
Town & Country and InStyle.


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