Some things I’d like to keep it here in case they don’t archive it anymore, for my own personal read – and to share to those who’d like to.
Of course there’s this kind of fear. I thought I could bring one of them out of the rut. What Mum keeps saying rang true – I know the living proofs: “You can never change the man.”
ON MY flight back to Kuala Terengganu last week, I sat next to two young girls who were attending a company seminar. When they heard that I worked for a non-governmental organisation, they said: “Akak, please advise us, we have a problem.”
One of the girls told me her predicament: her husband now uses condoms with her because he’s been sleeping around, and because he didn’t know where the girls have been and because he loves her, the wife, he’s protecting her. From disease.
Wow. Is that love or what?
So I sat there and did an Oprah. When we separated at the airport, I thought to myself: I should have become a Syariah lawyer instead of a writer.
Over the past one year, so many people I knew divorced or were in the act of getting a divorce. If it weren’t the husband catching hold of me at the magazine shop, to ask me to speak to his errant wife, it would be my women friends calling or meeting me to break the news.
Sometimes my readers email me and tell me things. It’s odd, but you never get used to the news of a divorce. To me, it’s heartbreaking to hear of a marriage failing beyond repair.
The perennial question these women ask me, as well as their parents, my parents and aunts and uncles: what has happened to this generation of Malay men? “Why are they not like our fathers?”
My Auntie K’s answer to this was that there was too much MSG in all the food the men ate at the mamaks. My father chuffed up and said, of course no man could be like him; he (my father) was The Original Malay Man. And my mother and some of her friends wonder why, why, why.
If before divorce was due to infidelity, abuse or disenchantment, nowadays the war cry among young women is that their husbands are lazy, irresponsible and just want a flashy lifestyle.
Since their wives are educated and working, duit rokok boleh la tibai kat bini (the wives can support them). And what even boggles the mind is that despite the lack of cash and employment, some of these men actually have girlfriends.
I don’t get it. What kind of woman would want to date a lazy sod? I certainly don’t.
There’s the husband who beats up the wife to the point that her parents have to intervene, as he was starting to abuse his own child.
What does the husband say to the in-laws? If they want him to stop and to divorce the wife, pay him RM1mil. The parents actually do, because they want to save their daughter’s and grandchild’s lives.
Then there’s the harried wife with children who’s been married for over eight years. Every morning, the suami tersayang goes to work in a suit.
One day the ah longs appear at the doorstep and threaten her and the kids and she finds out the truth: the blinkin’ monkey never worked in his life, and had been borrowing money from the sharks. He also had a gambling habit and a “‘lifestyle’.
Then there’s the young cute husband who’s creative. He’s in “media”. Not only does he sleep and eat and live off his in-laws, later on, it is discovered that he bought his foreign degree from the Internet. Yes, he forged it for a few American bucks.
Even stranger, the marriage was not consummated. Last I heard, “I’m still a virgin, Kak Dina.” Aiyoyo. (Why marry-lah if you’re not going to consummate it?) Oh yes, the husband said in a marriage, there’s no sex. Go figure.
He’s too lazy to pray. He doesn’t want to work. He wants to stay home and watch TV. He does not contribute to household expenses. Baru nak apply for tender dah ada GRO. He expects the wife to pay for everything. He expects the father-in-law to pay for everything.
I go to usrahs given by ulamas such as Ustaz Asri, Ustaz Kariman, Ustaz Arifin. You name it.
Even at the usrahs, everyone is asking why divorce is so high and why the current generation of Malay boys are not responsible. Unlike their fathers. And fathers-in-law.
The funny thing is, when the wives give up trying to save their marriages and dive head-on for a divorce, these irresponsible boys suddenly rediscover religion and start behaving like pompous gits.
At the court, one soon to be ex-husband tells the judge the wife is not a good Muslim. Sometimes she does not perform all her five daily prayers.
The soon to be ex-wife then shoots back, if she’s not an isteri mithali what about him? His Friday night out with the boys and coming back reeking of beer and cheap women’s perfume?
He then gets angry and tells her that he is STILL her husband, and he’s a Malay man, a Muslim one, so she better shut up. She tells him to go s***w himself and hopes he gets AIDS.
The judge? Geleng kepala kot.
Just when I, Little Ms D, think it’d be nice to REMARRY, and then my mother can stop pestering me to marry the boyfriend, a story like this crops up and I run off. Marriage is for the brave.
The quality of Malay men can’t have deteriorated that badly, no?
I see an old friend for tea. She looks like a walking aubergine. Brinjal to you. Her husband beats her up for the heck of it and to discipline her. I ask her, why did she marry him?
She tells me: “Dina, I’m like you. Our fathers were diplomats. We had non-Malay boyfriends. But at the end of the day, semoden-moden kita ni, we think of God. So I married him because of bangsa dan ugama. I married a Malay man because I thought of akhirat.”
She weeps and tells me: “Fat lot of good that did me.”
I don’t know why the new generation of Malay men are not like my father and his friends. They are practising Muslims, they’re successful, and they’re monogamous. They don’t beat up their wives. They brought their daughters up to rule the world.
I’d marry someone like my dad and his friends, but that’s disgusting. Can you imagine having a son-in-law the same age as your dad?
So yes. Please. Someone, answer us. Why aren’t Malay men these days like our fathers?
Sometimes had the feeling that I’d rather be on my own… but that’s so be-careful-what-you-wish-for. Then again, is it worth the unnecessary trouble or worse, the physical pain? Not to me. So far, I’m glad that I’m keeping my two rules, and I hope I can keep to it. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Once a hitter, always a hitter. Don’t take it all from me… this is just for my own reference. You’ve got to have the faith in your partner. And I salute you to those who brave through your decision… good luck.
Please lea, I know there’s a handful of good men out there. But there’s the operative words. A handful.
Mum always says… banyak-banyaklah berdoa. Insya Allah…
Come find moi, bebeh… haha!
And tolong lea jangan cakap korang tak kenal Dina Zaman…