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Organisers of strange events are attention seekers

KUALA LUMPUR: Individuals who tend to organise and participate in events considered ‘strange’ by the majority, as was the case lately, are people who are in dire need of attention and recognition from society, said the President of the Malaysian Psychology Association (PSIM), Prof Dr Rozmi Ismail.

According to Rozmi, the organisation of events such as ‘I Want To Touch A Dog’,’Oktoberfest’, ‘Men in Heels’ by a group or an individual was an effort to gain recognition and support from society to show that they were the first to make a cultural change.

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“Ultimately, the Asian culture is at risk, the new culture results in anxiety and social pressure, as some people will consider it unhealthy,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

He said social anxiety is the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by others who try to interfere with the exclusive rights of certain groups, such as challenging a cultural norm and eradicating a belief which has long been practised.

“Social pressure on the other hand is public unrest brought about by certains issues such as recrimination, slander and blaming one another,” he said.

Rozmi also urged the authorities to educate the public not to be too liberal and misconstrue the concept of freedom.

“Being too liberal in the name of freedom is not acceptable. In this way the meaning of freedom is lost and leaders must pay attention to this matter as everything will become a public issue,” he said.

Meanwhile, University Malaya Medical Centre psychiatrist, Dr Muhammad Muhsin said that a person usually goes against society’s norm when he or she has a specific intent to highlight something.

“For example, they are doing it to show they are different and they are the first to change the mindset of the people, they want to challenge a certain situation, they are anti-social, and are against the public’s beliefs,” he said.

He said the manner in gaining the attention they sought were usually inconsistent with norms and had negative implications.

Last Sunday, the ‘I Want To Touch A Dog’ event was held at Central Park, One Utama, Petaling Jaya where Muslims participated in touching and playing with dogs brought by non-Muslim participants.

The latest, a news portal reported yesterday that an NGO will be organising a White Ribbon campaign: Run and Walk 2014, in December which will involve ‘Men in Heels.’