A model hired to promote a gasoline station has been getting a lot of attention in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Unfortunately, she’s getting a lot of abuse, too- her life-size cut-out poster, that is.
Men have been seen showering the life-size standee of model Shalifa Khairusalleh with a lot of attention and affection in various branches of Shell gasoline station across the country. Men would be seen posting with her cut-out, getting excited and even kissing and hugging the standee.
Unfortunately, some men are going overboard and started doing obscene acts like abusively groping the standee’s breasts.
The model has spoken up, and said she didn’t mind the hugs and kisses to her poster. But she definitely drew the line on the sick groping. Khairusalleh said: “They may be joking, but I feel ashamed because that is still myself although it is just an image. “
She is not planning on taking any legal action against the men caught doing the sick act. But the image of a modestly-dressed woman being attacked by men who should have known the bounds of decency leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It also reflects some unfavorable realities in the country. Earlier this year, a 12-year-old girl was banned from a chess tournament supposedly for “dressing provocatively.“ She was wearing a knee-length children’s dress.
There have been tremendous pressure for Muslim women in the country to dress modestly. A sermon given by Ridhuan Tee Abdullah about two years ago even told listeners that women’s bodies invited rape. There was also a man who made the outrageous and sick statement that it is okay to rape a woman as long as the rapist would marry his victim.
Concerned citizens are asking their country, Malaysia, to sound the alarm about the recent abuses against women and girls and to show them more respect. Finally, they implore the men to leave cut-out standees in peace, without threat of being abused.