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With numerous sex-related news splashed across our local dailies, the notion of Malaysia as a conservative country has been challenged.

Are Malaysians obsessed with sex? That’s the question I was asked recently by a foreign friend.

He had been reading our newspapers and online media and was puzzled by our seeming obsession with all things sexual.

I guess it must appear that way to foreigners looking in on the daily goings-on in our country these days.

Consider recent developments as reported in the local media.

Over the last few months, we have been treated to the most sordid details of a major sodomy trial.

It was even revealed that traces of DNA from several different individuals were found in the rear end of one, shall we say, particularly hard-pressed gentleman.

Such lurid details were, until recently, deemed too crude to be even spoken of in polite company, let alone covered in the media.

Reports from the sodomy trial also revealed a sad picture of police incompetence.

Important DNA samples taken from unmentionable parts of the human anatomy were apparently compromised because they were not properly stored.

Interestingly, if you did a Google search on sodomy trials, 99% of all the immediate references point to Malaysia. Let’s hope the two don’t become inexorably linked.

And then, just as we were getting accustomed to the new normal in journalism, a video was released purportedly showing an Opposition leader in a compromising position with a prostitute.

One of those who released the video is himself no stranger to such controversy. Some are now calling for the video to be screened to the public while others are calling for a royal commission of inquiry to examine the video.

Not so long ago, that would have been the job of the film censorship board.

Meanwhile, a member of parliament opined in the House that husbands are drawn towards sexual promiscuity because their wives are not making time to satisfy them.

He also admitted that men are sometimes excited by what they see “at traffic lights”.

Now, who would have thought that traffic lights could turn people on? Perhaps this might explain those puzzling traffic jams in parts of the city.

The honourable member went on to suggest that wives ought to drop whatever they were doing to immediately satisfy their husbands’ sexual desires.

So, women are once again to blame for all the ills of men.

How convenient!

With such nonsense emanating from high places, is it any wonder why people are beginning to think that we are seriously messed up?

Or that Malaysian males are big on libido and short of fuse?

Or that we are just a bunch of male chauvinists who see our wives as little more than domestic workers and sex slaves? Isn’t it time there was a change of mindset?

Perhaps if the men helped out at home as equal partners with their wives, they might not have too much free time, or energy, to think about the next quick fix.

An idle man is the devil’s workshop, to rephrase an old saying.

But getting back to the issue at hand, reports from the Teoh Beng Hock Royal Commission of Inquiry noted that while an interrogation was underway, one of the interrogating officers took time out to download and watch pornography on his office computer.

Talk about multi-tasking!

And if that wasn’t enough, a newspaper this past week reported in bold print that the Chief Minister of Malacca blew his top over reports that young couples had been making out at some of the state’s historical monuments, including Unesco world heritage sites.

The Chief Minister fumed that the sites had become a haven for “unsavoury acts”.

Discarded condoms were also posing a hazard to early morning joggers in the area.

In typical Malaysian fashion, the Chief Minister took council workers to task for their failure to keep a more watchful eye on nocturnal activities at the sites.

Couples will now be monitored, or peeped at (depending on how you view these things), more closely.

As an additional precaution, the CM promised to find the necessary funds to light up the whole area.

Meanwhile in Johor, it was reported that female caddies at a golf club were doing more than just retrieving errant balls.

The newspaper headline said it all: Caddies by day, call-girls by night.

I won’t go into all the risqué golf jokes that will be coming out of this story.

It is just as well that Malacca is pioneering the use of energy-efficient solar-powered lighting to keep its historic sites brightly lit because the way things are going, we might have to light up the whole country!

All these reports, which circulate widely abroad courtesy of the web, have challenged the notion of Malaysia as a conservative country.

It suggests as well that we might have a serious moral crisis on our hands.

Happily, in the midst of all this came some much needed comic relief – fake eggs were spotted in parts of the country.

Either the nation’s hens need to heed the advice of the aforementioned member of parliament or those solar-powered lights need to be turned down.

Worried consumers need not, however, be alarmed; the fake eggs have been sent for DNA testing.

Only in Malaysia!

Diplomatically Speaking / The Star (M)