In Labuan there are about 40 karaoke premises with each karaoke premise there are about 30 young Filipino girls working as GRO. How true it is I do not know but this is the stories told to me by taxis drivers and those whom I have met while I was in Labuan last weekend. Labuan is a free port and alcoholic drink is cheaper than the carbonated drink. One man that I met in Labuan told me that Labuan used to have 70 karaoke premises but now the number has decreases to 40. A small island like Labuan, a distance of about 30 kilometres from the north to the south and with only 80 thousand population but has 40 karaoke premises is indeed a record worth to note. I do not know anywhere else in this world that has so many karaoke premises in such a small area as Labuan. In Labuan for every two thousand population there is one karaoke premise. The presence of karaoke premise far exceeds the presence of hospital, clinics, schools and mosques in Labuan. Only looking at the statistics of karaoke premise and the number of population in Labuan, we may lead to a wrong conclusion that the peoples of Labuan are peoples who loves to dance, to sing and to enjoy illicit sexual relationship with girls. It seems the needs to dance and to sing far outweigh the needs for good education, health and religion. Why so many licences are given to open karaoke premise in Labuan? Do the peoples of Labuan really needs that many karaoke premises or the demand of karaoke comes from the peoples who had comes to Labuan without their wives or the demand comes from the workers of the oil company who have to be away from their wives because they have to work offshore for some weeks and when they come on-shore they become sexually excited like the hungry animals looking for their foods. The rules of demand and supply also apply in Labuan. The Filipino girls fulfil the demand and the demands are created by the men who live in Labuan but without their wives and the frequent visitors of Labuan whose sole purpose are to enjoy sex with many types of girls. I am sure there is an agency that deals with this business. Which is the agency that supplies the girls to the 40 karaoke premises in Labuan? What do the Islam religious department in Labuan is doing? Is the Islamic religious department in Labuan aware of the presence of 40 karaoke premises in Labuan? Or they know but they pretend as if they do not know and they are not willing to do anything about it. Once peoples are addicted to certain bad habits, it is difficult to stop it. The presence of 40 karaoke premises in Labuan is helping to nature the bad habits among the island population especially the youths. I am sure there are among the local young men of Labuan who are infected with the bad habits.
Sexual needs are one of the most important needs of men. Armies and sailors who are often away from their wives for several months often fulfil their sexual needs by visiting prostitutes and Labuan is one of the places that fulfil the needs of these sailors and soldiers. We may call this as sexual tourism and as other modes of tourism it generates income to Labuan. There are countries like Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia which are seriously involved with this industry. Thailand and Philippines are countries that export their girls to other countries in order to fulfil the demand of this industry. Prostitution is rampant among the poor nations of the world and sexual tourism has become a main source of revenues for certain countries of the world. Sexual tourism is among the oldest industry that men have developed. The city of Mecca before Prophet Muhammad saw declared as a Prophet, was a city of prostitutes and it was a city for the travellers and the traders that pass through Mecca on their way to either to Syam or Yemen to fulfil their sexual needs. Sexual needs are as old as the creation of men themselves and these sexual needs cannot be suppressed or made extinct but probably to a certain extent can be controlled. Prostitutes in Mecca at the times of Prophet Muhammad saw advertised their services openly to the public and to them at those times prostitution is a business like any other businesses. Prostitution at that time was a completely legal and it was also a profitable business. Prostitutes offer their bodies to be used by any men and in return the men promise to pay a certain amount of money to the prostitutes. Business is a contractual venture between two parties who have agreed upon certain rules and regulation. In non-Muslims countries like Mecca at the time before Prophet Muhammad saw declared as a Prophet, prostitution was a completely legal business. Mecca at that time had no source of income. Mecca has no income either from agricultures or manufacturing industries. The source of income for the peoples of Mecca during that time was only from trading and prostitutions.
Many women who are without iman and without any qualification to have a dissent jobs will choose prostitution as an easy and lucrative source of income. When women become a prostitute, they will gain both money and enjoyment and the business of prostitution become very flourishing, particularly when there are demands as in Labuan. Many men from many countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia came to Malaysia without their wives and how would these men fulfil their sexual needs other than with the prostitutes. Once they acquired the bad habit of visiting prostitutes to fulfil their sexual needs, it becomes difficult for them to leaves the bad habits. In west Malaysia there are many girls from China and former Soviet Union countries who come to Malaysia with students or tourist visa but in actual fact they are coming to do the business of prostitution in Kuala Lumpur. Many are caught with the charged of using visa for a wrong reasons. Many agents who are doing the business of prostitution are willing to bribe either the police or the religious officers so that the business of prostitution can continue to flourish. As long as there are demand on prostitution there will be continues supply of girls to meet the demand of the industry. Charges impose on these prostitutes by the police are a very light charges. The business of prostitution can never be abolished as long as men are still alive on this world. Rules and enforcement of rules on prostitution will never made the business of prostitution to cease from existing. As long as there are demand on elicit sexual needs, there will always be supply of prostitutes.
Laws on prostitution cannot be enforced in Labuan as well in many parts of Malaysia as prostitutions are part of money generating business in Malaysia. Without the business of prostitution or sexual tourisms no one may like to come to Labuan as there are no other tourists’ attractions in Labuan. In order to stop the business of prostitution we have to reduced or stop the demand for illicit sex. Can we reduced the demand by passing laws in the parliament or by writing or talking more about the evils of prostitutions or by displaying pictures or photographs of the persons inflicted with diseases related to illicit sexual habits? None of these can reduce the demand on prostitution. Having Hudud laws will not reduce the demand of illicit sex. As long as there is a demand for illicit sex, the business of prostitutions will remain alive. If it cannot be done openly it will be done secretly. Even in the so call the Islamic city of Kota Baru, Kelantan there is the business of prostitutions and it is situated not far, around 500meters from the office of Menteri Besar, Dato’ Nik Aziz. Even in the so call clean and Islamic states of Brunei, there is the business of prostitutions. What is the best ways to reduce the demand of illicit sex and automatically to reduce the business of prostitutions? Actually, the best way is by doing the effort of inculcating in the hearts of men the desire to obey the orders of Allah only to please Allah until Allah is pleased.
What is the other effort of inculcating the desires to obey the orders of Allah in the heart of men, other than the effort of Muhammad saw or also known as the work of Dakwah or the work of the Prophet? We cannot stop the business of prostitutions by closing down all the karaoke premises or night clubs all over sudden in one time which PAS will probably be doing if they are governing Malaysia by implementing Hudud laws. We also cannot stop the business by driving away all the illegal Filipino migrants from Labuan or by making frequent ambush to the 40 karaoke premises in Labuan. PAS government had closed down all the centres of prostitutions in Kelantan but the illegal centres still continue although PAS has ruled Kelantan for more than two decades. Although, prostitution centres are closed in Kelantan, but Kelantanese who have the habit of illicit sex are going to Thailand for their needs. Whenever there are demands of illicit sex, definitely there will be a supply of prostitutes. They businessmen who are involved in the business of prostitutions will get the supply of prostitutes either legally or illegally. In case local girls are not available, they will get the supply from foreign countries and foreigners will become the prostitutes. This is what exactly happens to Malaysia. When they cannot get the locals to become the prostitutes, they will get the prostitutes in whatever ways from outside Malaysia.
Prof. Dr. Nasoha Saabin
Dean of Faculty of Optometry
International University College of Technology Twintech
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia