Azrul Mohd Khalib

Azrul Mohd Khalib works on HIV/AIDS, sex and human rights issues. He is becoming cynical and is in danger of losing his sense of humour and mind. He also runs and is battling an addiction to the "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series. Azrul can be contacted at

They are girls not brides

JUNE 7 — It is heartening to see that there is increasing awareness and concern among Malaysians of a problem which has lain unnoticed for decades... READ MORE

Everybody don’t move!

MAY 16 — I haven’t written in a while and I was sorely tempted to join in the torrent of columns and opinions discussing the exciting and... READ MORE

Her health, her body, her choice

DEC 27 ― The recent case in Ireland of 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion of her dying foetus and later died of blood... READ MORE

We know best. You shut up

DEC 14 — Obviously someone in the National Sports Council didn’t get the transparency and public accountability memo. Or maybe didn’t attend the... READ MORE

Wrong to cut our girls

DEC 3 — Warning: The following article contains graphic descriptions of injuries done to women and girls in the name of the preservation of... READ MORE

Run, Penang, run!

NOV 23 — I was recently in Penang for the Allianz Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012. The last one to be held on the old bridge, it... READ MORE

Society’s role in teenage pregnancies

Nov 12 — It’s tough being a kid and growing up in today’s world. It’s almost Darwinian in the sense that you are expected to have the necessary... READ MORE

Writing the obituary for the death penalty

NOV 2 — Many of us born in the ‘70s would be familiar with this particular public service announcement ad on TV: a man in a kampung does a favour... READ MORE

Let there be no compulsion in religion

OCT 25 — An Indonesian friend once remarked how interesting it was that each time she visited Malaysia there seemed to be more women wearing some... READ MORE

More than just the right to vote

OCT 13 — There’s more to women’s rights than just the right to vote. Though universal suffrage for a number of developing countries remains an... READ MORE


OCT 8 — This was the word which came to my mind when I saw the picture of the silent and empty chairs of the government benches in Parliament... READ MORE

We are all gay…

SEPT 18 — Let’s see. I often wear fitted, V-necked T-shirts. I can’t lay claim to having a muscular body but I am working out at the gym and... READ MORE

Want the women’s vote? Take public safety seriously

SEPT 7 — Our women and girls are under attack. Both literally and figuratively.   For a society which recognises and makes use of the role and... READ MORE

Of Merdeka themes

AUG 31 — “Sebangsa, Senegara, Sejiwa” sounds right, doesn’t it? As opposed to “Janji Ditepati”? Never mind that one came from the government and... READ MORE

Maxing out the national credit card

AUG 29 ― We are coming up to September, and once again, it is that time of the year when we hear about three things: how did the Malaysian... READ MORE

Our bubur lambuk, cows and goats

AUG 17 — Last Sunday, I was invited by PT Foundation to attend a majlis berbuka puasa at its Social Services and Assistance Centre (PKBS). Present... READ MORE

Peddling books and a rape

AUG 10 ― These past few days have seen two cases being brought forward before the courts. One, concerning the prosecution of an individual for an... READ MORE

‘Kini masa balas budi.’ Oh really?

AUG 6 — It really is just too much. When it seems like the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture seems to draw most of its inspiration... READ MORE

JAWI, just drop the case

JULY 26 — Here we go again. The holy month of Ramadan has just started and instead of taking advantage of this opportunity to focus on how to be... READ MORE

Dr M, you are wrong

JULY 5 — I was quite disappointed to read of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s prediction that the upcoming general election would be more focussed on race and... READ MORE

On books, cowards and lazy people

JUNE 21 — Let’s start by first being honest with ourselves. All who heard of and read Irshad Manji’s book “Islam, Liberty and Love” in either... READ MORE

Keeping dreams alive by running the KL Marathon!

JUNE 5 — It’s less than four weeks to the KL Standard Chartered Marathon, and I find myself occasionally hyperventilating at the thought of running... READ MORE

On children having children

MAY 17 — Next time you go to a city mall or any of the swanky places in Bangsar, Bandar Utama or Damansara, check out the couples with children.... READ MORE

Did the police lose control that day?

MAY 9 — In my column last week on Bersih 3.0, I was quite hesitant to share in detail my account of what I had seen and experienced on the streets... READ MORE

Today, we found courage

MAY 2 — It started out as such a beautiful day. My Facebook status for the morning of April 28, 2012 read “To everyone today: be safe, don’t... READ MORE

The Kedah amendment that should never have happened

APRIL 26 — Last week’s amendment made to the Mufti and Fatwa (Kedah Darul Aman) Enactment 2008 by the Kedah state government and passed unanimously... READ MORE


APRIL 18 — In recent years, there has been much discussion and debate on whether Malaysia needs hate-crime legislation. We recently heard the... READ MORE

Separation of mosque and state

APRIL 12 — I was at first saddened and then began to be really angry (unfortunately, this is becoming more and more frequent as of late) at news of... READ MORE

Why I am not running in the upcoming elections

APRIL 2 — Warning and disclaimer: This is a syiok sendiri article. I initially wanted to write a column about running but in the spirit of the... READ MORE

In 2012, men still lay claim to women’s bodies

MARCH 14 — Last week, on March 8, we commemorated International Women’s Day. Indeed, there are plenty of milestones and achievements for us to... READ MORE

Pushing away the darkness in Chow Kit

MARCH 7 — There are many varieties of courage. But it takes a special kind of courage to be a kid growing up in the Jalan Chow Kit area in Kuala... READ MORE

Get a grip, Jati and PUM!

FEB 29 — Islam, Malay rights and the royal institution. Let’s get a few things straight. These are three different and separate issues. Despite... READ MORE

So, why is Malaysia on the Human Rights Council again?

FEB 23 — In May 2010, Malaysia was re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) through a secret ballot which provided a three-year... READ MORE

A new Malaysia: The change (Part 2)

FEB 13 — Change. It can be a terrifying thing. Most of us find it to be unsettling, distressing and unwelcomed. The idea that what was once... READ MORE

A new Malaysia: The Promise (Part 1)

FEB 8 — A new Malaysia is dawning. When I was in school, I learned of then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s vision for a new Malaysia. A vision... READ MORE

Running your first 5k run!

JAN 30 — Running really is a low-budget activity. In this challenging economic climate, you might not be able to cough out the 150 bucks for the... READ MORE

Rejecting religious fascism

JAN 23 — It can be quite tough to recognise the emergence and symptoms of fascism in this country, especially in this day and age. There are... READ MORE

Why the civil service needs a haircut

JAN 17 — It is ironic that last year, the government expressed concern that Malaysian consumers were heavily burdened with increasing credit debt... READ MORE

Sex in 2012

JAN 9 — Talk to anyone around town these days and they will tell you that these are really tough times. The economic conditions are jittery. The... READ MORE

Running off the turkey

DEC 29 — It’s 6.30 in the morning and the purposely annoying music from the phone alarm seems to go on and on. Wiping the drool off your face, you... READ MORE

Crisis of faith

DEC 21 — One wonders what the esteemed Selangor executive councillor in charge of Islamic Affairs wakes up to in the morning? It must be hard going... READ MORE

Why I support Tony’s ‘Say NO to the airport tax increase’ campaign

DEC 5 — I am a simple traveller. Whether I am travelling for a vacation or on business to Bali, Melbourne or some other destination in any part of... READ MORE

The need for compassion in an age of AIDS

DEC 1 — Today is World AIDS Day. It has been three decades since the first documented case of AIDS and there are now 34 million people living with... READ MORE

On breaking wind, Kenyans and smelly socks

NOV 27 — Two Saturdays ago, I took the express bus up north to participate in the 2011 Penang Bridge International Marathon. Having seen pictures... READ MORE

Anak haram?

NOV 14 — Anak luar nikah. Bastard. Illegitimate child. Child born out of wedlock. These are unpleasant terms used to describe a difficult... READ MORE

On gay men, lesbians and …

NOV 5 — There is something to be said about people who are both terrified and yet enamoured by sex. Some among us, I believe, have an unhealthy... READ MORE

Wanted: Common sense officer

NOV 2 — Reading the findings of the recent Auditor-General’s 2010 report has been an exercise in cramp-inducing facial contortions, howls of... READ MORE

Running a marathon? Gila ka?

OCT 21 — It is 7.30pm in Putrajaya on a Saturday night and I am at the starting line of the 2011 Putrajaya Night Marathon. All around, there are... READ MORE

Why fear of sex and sexuality is silly, dangerous and is bad TV

OCT 14 — I am writing this article sitting cross-legged in a corner of the hotel where the Indonesian National AIDS Conference is being held in... READ MORE

Reading, writing and hiding

SEPT 29 — Last weekend I was in Jakarta for the Indonesian leg of the Adidas King of the Road 2011 Run. While speeding down the empty streets... READ MORE

Lost souls?

SEPT 22 — The ripple effects from the Selangor Religious Department’s (Jais) raid of the Harapan Komuniti event on August 3 at the Damansara Utama... READ MORE

We are not ogres

SEPT 15 — Yulia, 19, is looking for a job in order to provide for her family and to ensure that her daughter gets to school. There are no jobs... READ MORE

Sex, lies and denial

SEPT 9 — What can statistics tell us about the issue of sex in Malaysia today? A lot. Most of it isn’t good. Most of it has also been ignored. As... READ MORE

How the Grinch stole Ramadan

AUG 30 — This past Ramadan month has been quite insane. I am half convinced that the Grinch had something to do with it while we were busy shopping... READ MORE