Saturday, November 26, 2005

'Lokapgal' case: The 9/11 of Malaysia?

Not too sure many people will consider this a black mark in the history of Malaysia. Also not too sure how wide is the readership by foreigners despite the wide international coverage. Not sure also whether this will become a joke for David Letterman's talk show. Not sure this case will be mentioned in the next edition of Lonely Planet's guidebook (but I'm sure that Anwar's case was mentioned there). Not sure also what will be the outcome of the investigation, specifically and the revamp of the police force, generally. But one thing I'll be sure that it will just be 'gone with the wind' too soon. Take for example the haze case, remember? Year in, year out, it has became a routine. So will this police abuse, corruption, price increase, injustice, racism, etc...etc...will just be a routine in Malaysia?

The BBC has another report:

Video puts Malaysia police in dock
By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

Some Malaysians are comparing the grainy video of a woman being forced to strip and perform squats by a police officer to the abuses perpetrated by coalition forces in Iraq.

According to Jeff Ooi, one of Malaysia's best-known bloggers, "the video clip draws an eerie parallel to the infamous abuse of human rights in Abu Ghraib - the victims were forced to strip, and the tormentors were women in uniform."


To their credit, Malaysia's leaders did not even draw breath before condemning the video, which came to light on Friday.

"It should not have happened," said Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak. "It has dealt a severe blow to our country's image."


IMHO, comparing the clip to Abu Ghraib's photos was a bit unfair. I understand the frustation going out there, but hey!...at least this was better than the one in Abu Ghraib's. There were no 'naked pyramids', 'girl pulling naked bleeding man' or 'simulating oral sex'. So let's be fair and call this clip as 'Lokapgal' for the moment, although it was not actually filmed at a police lockup (notice the lockers?)

Despite people swarming his blog and leaving comments (and some not nice ones), he commented that he was 'tad disappointed' with his readers for 'failing to see the obvious, that technology can be an effective enabler to forge transparency in public governance.' Yes, even my mom knew that when we chatted just now. But we are living in a state of fear matey...even you have experienced it (hence the banning of commenter of fear of the 'Islam Hadhari' case). Read this piece of news for example and hear what exactly came out from the mouth of the Police Head:

Video clip taken at a PJ police station

PETALING JAYA: The uniformed woman captured on a cellular phone video ordering a naked female Chinese national to do ear squats has been identified as a police constable from the district headquarters here.

It has also been confirmed that the incident occurred at the headquarters.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Musa Hassan said police had recorded the constable’s statement and he had directed a no cover-up investigation into the incident.

“There will not be any cover-up, and anyone involved in any illegal activity, like recording or even using a phone in a restricted area, will be brought to book. We will not hesitate to dismiss them.


Read: There will not be any cover-up, and anyone involved in any illegal activity, like recording or even using a phone in a restricted area, will be brought to book. Trying 'to see the obvious, that technology can be an effective enabler to forge transparency in public governance' will be considered an illegal activity and will be charged. You report corruption, you will be sued back. That's the rule you will have to follow. This proves that my piece of sarcasm was true after all.

Malaysia is actually a very much better-off country among the Third World countries. If people could generally associate Africa (with all due respect) to poverty, corruption, disease and high mortality rate, Malaysia has a better image than that. But sometimes, take a minute and think for yourself. Put yourself in the eyes of a foreigner. After seeing the news, regardless whether it was true or not, will you bother to step a foot in Malaysia?

I know Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore) is a famous stopover for Westerners (read:Caucasians) before proceeding to another 'Westerners' lands' Down Under. Personally, I have colleagues who have been or planning to go Down Under. Many of them gave Malaysia a skip. Singapore is more appealing to them, it seems. I did not bother to be an ambassador to try to promote our tourism to them and convince them to stop by. Why? Put yourself in my own shoes. Headlines like 'Abuse video outrages Malaysia' and 'Malaysians told to pray for rain (during haze)' were explicitly on the newspaper on the coffee table in front of us. How would you feel then? (Oh...and no, I'm not Chinese. I'm Malaysian.)

‘Hell…Singapore hangs people for bringing feather-weight drugs. Blimey! Even chewing gums are banned!’
Fine. You don’t bring drugs and you can’t die without eating chewing gum. Then you go free as a bird in Singapore. But in Malaysia, if your skin colour is a bit different or sound a bit different, you have the possibility of being labeled as a prostitute, being harassed and extorted; even when you have valid travel documents!

'Hell...you shouldn't be embarassed...it's not your fault!'
O.K. Then how would you explain the hatred against general Muslims due to the rise of terrorist attacks and otherwise, the Muslims against the general Westerners for their policies?

'It is merely their ignorance not to see the big picture.Blame the biased reports.'
Do I have a strong point to defend then? Setting up of NAM News Network or NNN (are we not tired enough of imitating CNN?)to counter biasness of the foreign media? Take this case for example. Read the local news and the BBC website. Do you find any biasness here? Their style of reporting and journalism may be different and the foreign news may tend to incline in a more negative tone, but think for yourself. Are those FACTS or MYTHS?

Or am I just being too sensitive+introvert=sensintrovet?

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