Some things can’t be made fun of. The latest thing to trend on social media is a video scraping underneath the scab of Malaysian prostitution by investigative journalists Mahi Ramakrishnan and Rian Maelzer.. At 22 minutes tho, we reckon it’s a bit too long for most people to watch in secret while they’re working (not to mention all the judgemental eyes if someone sees you watching video with postitoot inside).
First off, here’s the full video that you’re probably not going to watch.
Done scrolling? Yea the music is quite 80s la, and the documentary isn’t exactly edited like a Pulitzer prize. But what’s shocking about it is a few choice quotes that paint a disturbing image of the nature of the sex trade in Malaysia. To save you time, here are the top five, complete with time-stamps. (click on the photos to jump to that moment in the video)
1. “That’s why they like to come to Malaysia – because Malaysia is very open.” (9:00)
Hmmm. Confirm not from around here. Despite the atrocious way we sometimes treat foreigners, Malaysia is still a highly sought-after destination, and apparently to these pour souls, it’s a very open country. Really makes you think how bad our neighbours have it.
So it turns out this sex worker is one of our neighbours, who was anonymously shot in the video. She’s of the willing ones from Thailand – 17 and has been working on and off in Malaysia for the last 2/12 years (yea do the math). She comes down here by bus because “… Malaysia and Thailand are good friends..”. She slips them RM100 and they give her a one-month pass into our country.
Her parents know what she does, and she does it to send money home. “I born into poor family, that’s why money is important to me”. Her job description is that she waits until her boss gets a call to deliver her to one of a number of hotels in KL, and if the client likes what they see, then she has a job for the night. Also rather shockingly when the interviewer asks her whether her customers know if she’s 17, she answers “Why? It’s no problem!”.
2. “They think I work in a restaurant” (7:30)
Another girl who’s around the same age is here to find better fortunes from Indonesia. As the quote shows, her parents don’t know that she’s here. every day she sleeps with an average of five men, from Malaysia, Australia and America among others. But every month, she sends back what she can.
3. “They told me I would be doing housework” (10:46)
This girl from Tamil Naidu got one of the worst deals in life. She’s 15 but she’s already been here for THREE YEARS. That means… Yea…. There are some really sick people out there. And even sicker people that will supply these poor girls to them like imported pieces of meat.
These barely-humans brought her in from India on the pretext of doing housework, eventually bringing her to a house full of men where she was drugged, and eventually raped and tortured by one of them. “I don’t know how i got to bed because I had no clothes on”.
In her current situation, she has to service 12 men a night and do whatever they ask her to do or she’ll get a beating. In the video, she even talks about some of the men biting her.
4. “They change out of their school uniforms in public toilets” (15:42)
So apparently, the problem isn’t just limited to foreigners. Selvi Fatimah Abdulla, a volunteer for an NGO that helps unfortunates around the Chow Kit area tells a shocking tale of local girls who go over to the area after school, change out of their uniforms, and head to clubbing districts. There, they’ll head to a nearby restaurant, sit around and chat. Why? So they can wait for customers to proposition them – and earn more money, according to Selvi, for “…expensive items, branded goods and clothing”.
You can argue about personal choice, and to be honest, this writer has been to a strip joint or two in his lifetime, but at this age, it’s absolutely criminal.
5. “They found her and they needed to teach her a lesson” (18:21)
Urmilah Dass from Valley Psychological Services tells a scary story about a 13-year old girl who was kidnapped by two men in Negeri Sembilan, and brought to an unknown place to provide sexual services. Once (after a few attempts), she successfully escaped, but her ’employers’ found her and saw the need to make an example of her to the other girls.
They beat her up with metal rods and left her in a coma with multiple broken bones and a jaw held together by wire. Thankfully she survived, and resides in a shelter now.
6. “If you go out and leave and nobody accepts you… OK I’ve got my body – If I sell it, i’m gonna get X amount of dollars. (19:50)
Shankar ThiruChellvam, a consulting psychologist, highlights one of the main issues with the sex trade, which is that if they actually wanted to leave, it would be difficult because of the sitgma of having been a sex worker before. “So if there are no avenues for you to use – what do you do? You need to survive, and you need to eat”. So if they can’t get a normal job, they often take the only choice that’s available to them.
7. “Although it’s illegal, it looks like it’s legal” (4:56)
A Taxi driver interviewed for the documentary also talks openly about where one can find such services in KL. And as most people know, it’s pretty rampant. A quick Google search for Malaysia Prostitute surprisingly does not reveal news articles about this video, but an ACTUAL website where you can rent escorts!
That sites like these with clearly written handphone numbers aren’t being shut down calls into question what the authorities are doing about the situation. In fact, after this video was released…
“In Malaysia, the existence of prostitution is undeniable – just like in other countries. But the level of enforcement minimises these activities.” – Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Datuk Roslee Chik in The Star, Sep 21, 2014
Hey guys, how about starting your investigations on an Internet Browsaz?
Maybe this is why Malaysia has dropped to the same level as North Korea in Human Trafficking.
Geez. This is pretty horrible.
Yep… it is.
Many of these girls will never know what it’s like to experience a proper education, teenage romance, or even the loving hand of a parent. Instead, they’re pushed to an industry (some say it’s choice, but at this age, we disagree) that chews them up and spits them out.
So what can you do? Well the first thing is not to support the industry, especially of minors for heaven’s sake!
Second, if you see minors working the streets, here’s a handy list of NGO’s that you can contact. We’d go with
No. 85, Jalan 21/1
46300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03 7877 4221 Fax: 03 7874 3312
To be honest, it took ALOT more Googling to find which NGO would be appropriate to contact than it did to find a website selling prostitution services.
So let’s all band together and stop this horrible horrible scourge. Tell your friends about this video so that they can see the reality behind this madness, and hopefully somewhere out there, someone is touched enough to think twice before soliciting.
C’mon ugaiz. They’re just kids 🙁