Masalah Salah Laku Seksual di Kelantan, 1916-1941 (Social and Moral Issues In Kelantan, 1916-1941)

Haryati Hasan


This article was to collect and assess information about prostitution, khalwat (close proximity), cohabitation and rape in a Kelantanese Malay community. Writing within the perspective of social history, the focused on the period from 1916 to 1941, because some primary sources such as Kelantan Council of Islamic Religion and Malay Custom (MAIK), Kelantan Hall’s Office and Kelantan Minister’s Office reports on this period have recently become available at the National Archives of Malaysia. This article analyses the phenomenon of prostitution among Malay women in Kelantan before the Second World War. Divorce, poverty, and lack of education were among the major factors which drive Malay women into prostitution. This study reveals that failure to provide the living for the family and irresponsibility, lack of religious knowledge and economic attraction were among the factors that drove women to khalwat and cohabitation. The women were usually married or recently divorced and had partners were from different profession backgrounds, made up of Malay and non-Malays. Cases of khalwat, cohabitation and rape were usually disclosed by a third party to MAIK. In addition, this article discusses Notice no.26 of 1916 on the role of MAIK in controlling the problem of sexual misconduct. MAIK had power to arrest individuals without warrant, admonishing them, banishing prostitutes and pimps, as well as meting out imprisonment and fines. This law showed that MAIK, since its establishment in 1915, had tried it best to curb social and moral ills among Kelantan Muslims at that time. The study was able to fill the space in writing about Malaysian social history and gender studies, especially before the Second World War.

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JEBAT : Malaysian Journal of History, Politics & Strategic Studies, 
Center for Research in History, Politics and International Affairs,
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, 
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM, Bangi Selangor, Malaysia.

eISSN: 2180-02551

ISSN: 012-5644