Universiti Malaya – Wales

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The TimeToTalk 2020 team, led by Jesika Zamzuri and Najihah Syamsulrizal, advised by CFLMS lecturer Aminuddin Baharudin The fourth edition of IUMW’s annual current affairs conference, ‘TimeToTalk 2020: Unveiling the Taboo of Sex Education’, was held on the 22nd of December 2020. Lead by students Jesika Zamzuri and Najihah Syamsulrizal and advised by lecturer Aminuddin Baharudin, the conference theme was sex education, or rather the lack of it, in Malaysia. The event was held virtually for the very first time in a four-hour broadcast on YouTube & Facebook Live, attracting 1500 live viewers at its peak and reaching more than 8300 unique viewers in total. Before the event, the World of Buzz published an article about TimeToTalk and featured the event on their Instagram page which received around 13,000 likes. Former Minister of Youth & Sports YB Syed Saddiq bin Syed Abdul Rahman officiated the conference and expressed his support for TimeToTalk’s call for more comprehensive sex education, saying “the less we speak about it [sex education], the more we treat it as a taboo, the greater problem Malaysia will face”

Conference officiator Syed Saddiq (left), speakers Dr Rachael Winston and Jasmine King with moderator Nurin Qistina during the discussion on the Myths and Misconceptions of Sex Education (right).

Speakers Diyana Sabri and Tehmina Kaoosji kicked off the discussions with the topic ‘Recognising Toxic Relationships’, where they recounted how being in a toxic relationship had affected them. Daphne Iking, Clarissa Say and Thency covered ‘Child Grooming’ and the lack of regulation on sexual grooming laws in place today.

Dr Rachael Winston and Jasmine King used studies to debunk the common misconception that sex education encourages sexual activities during the ‘Myths and Misconceptions of Sex Education’ discussion, moderated by Nurin Qistina.

Speakers Ally Mukhriz and Harith Iskander offered personal insights on their experiences concerning their cultural upbringing in the next discussion, ‘Culture, Society & Sexuality’.

During the final session ‘Steps to Take If You Have Been Sexually Harassed’, speakers Syarlene Rahim and Mayna Patel offered advice where they broke down the steps into three main classifications: legal, medical, and mental. TimeToTalk’s Nashuha Kamal and up-and-coming all-girl band Senja.je also performed for audiences during the event.

“We chose this topic for the event in the hopes to break the stigma surrounding sex education”, event leader Jesika explained, “and based on the success of the event we’re confident we have achieved our goal”.

TimeToTalk was supported by The Noeo Project, SKRLWN Society, All Women’s Action Society (AWAM Malaysia), and the Malaysian Urgent Care Clinic.