21 July 2007

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at
http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com Please.
Wednesday July 18, 2007
Currents hide beneath the calm
If most of us continue to believe that life is a whole string of peaceful Sunday mornings, then we are closing our eyes to dangers that await us.
AS I write this on a quiet weekend, I have to ponder on the strangeness of our existence these days. There are Sunday mornings that are so peaceful that it makes us feel that everything is right with the world, and to complain about anything is sacrilegious.
It would be so nice to believe that our future is secure, our well-being guaranteed, our safety assured and our lives will go on as they always have.
We have been so lucky in the past 50 years to have never really known hardship in our country.
We have to read books about other countries to know what it means to have your lives turned upside down overnight, from one where you can walk freely down the street to one where it is unsafe to even look out the window.
Most of us will never know what it’s like to hear a knock on the door and fear what it means, like they have done in Chile or Argentina.
Nor what it’s like to feel constantly choked by the lack of freedom to do anything, not even to go about your business without fearing harm from anyone.
In many countries, people languish in prison without knowing why, apart from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When I ponder these things, I breathe a sigh of relief that I live here.
Yet I can’t help but feel pessimistic that all these things we take for granted will last forever.
Things change, very quickly, for the worse.
I was always taught to be fair and to empathise with those less fortunate.
Therefore, I find it hard to understand why others insist that injustice is fine for some people because it is apparently religiously correct.
I have never heard of religions created to sow injustice among people, only to bring good.
So when I hear of people being subjected to cruelty and punishment in order to make them believe in something they don’t believe in, it is hard for me to understand that it is good for that person’s faith.
I don’t join clubs that have rules that I don’t believe in and I would not dream of forcing anyone to join mine for the same reason.
Why do people not believe that love and compassion is more persuasive than hate and cruelty?
Today I read in the papers that caning of schoolchildren will be banned because it does more harm than good and infringes on children’s rights.
Why then is it all right to punish adults even though they have harmed no one and expect them to love the punisher’s community afterwards?
I don’t expect any of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to ever harbour goodwill towards the United States after what they have been through.
Likewise, I don’t see how anyone who has undergone “rehabilitation” at our religious Guantanamo-like camps can come out feeling any love for the ones who put them there.
It is easy to dismiss as mere rumour that such camps are unsavoury places where bad things go on.
If so, why is the existence of these centres kept secret?
Why not have open days to show what happy places they are, filled with friendly people who only want others to be more knowledgeable about religion?
Otherwise, why not investigate whether they are run properly, with minimum standards of care and hygiene?
In fact, why have rehabilitation camps at all, since faith is not something that can be forced on people anyway?
Yet there are people in this country who believe this is the right way to go about things.
Worse, they think not enough is being done and more repressive measures should be put in place.
There are people who really believe, 50 years after independence, that the very foundation of this country, our Federal Constitution, is all wrong at least for the majority of our people, who are quite prepared to ignore it and even change it to a more oppressive system. They seriously think this would make this country a better place.
If most of us continue to believe that life is a whole string of peaceful Sunday mornings, then we are closing our eyes to the dangers that await us.
If we remain ignorant and oblivious, then there will be a very black Monday ahead when our belief that we are all equal under the law in this country will be severely shattered. By then, it may well be too late.
But maybe we do need to undergo some hardship to make us less complacent. The point is: do we want to subject our children to it?

16 July 2007

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com Please.
Wednesday July 4, 2007

Catch the ‘cat’ rapist fast

There have been three cases in the past month. What are the police doing about this serial rapist, and what should parents do to protect their children?


If I needed proof that our sense of proportion has become very skewed, then the other day’s news was it.

On the front page were the usual sensational headlines about the ongoing murder trial, as well as a little teaser about some billionaire who managed to stop his house from being sealed.

As much as these are distressing to the individuals above, we skim through them and file them away as “bad stuff happens”.

But inside I found truly alarming news. Buried deep inside the newspaper pages was a story about a serial rapist currently on the prowl in the heart of KL whose victims are, disturbingly, little girls.

He lures them by asking them to help find his cat. Then the girls turn up many hours later dirty, bruised and traumatised.

So far there have been three cases in the past month while two other little girls may have escaped the same fate.

As the mother of a little girl exactly the same age as these victims, the news made me shudder. I cannot imagine anything worse happening to my daughter.

But I have to ask, why is there no outcry? Why aren’t outraged parents demanding the police do something to apprehend the rapist immediately?

Why have there been no warnings to other parents about the rapist’s modus operandi? Why aren’t there frontpage headlines?

Is it because there are no VIPs or celebrities involved? As tragic as some high-profile cases may be, doesn’t the trauma of little girls warrant attention as well?

Just what is going on these days? In Johor Baru, crime has become so bad (including violent crimes against women) that people actually had a signature campaign to demand more effective action against criminals. And it worked, because then the Cabinet decides to deploy extra police to man JB streets.

But, what about in KL? In the first few months of this year, I had so many friends who had their homes broken into, themselves and their families tied up and property taken.

The whole series of similar crimes in one area of PJ ended up with one prominent ex-policeman dead.

Yet still, none of my friends have had any of their burglaries solved, they have had to put in extra security and nobody feels any safer.

The other day at a chance meeting, someone asked if I could help do something about crime in her area.

Why are people turning to me about this? Is it because, like everything else, it is only if a VIP complains that action will be taken?

Since when has security become a commodity that needs to be sold?

The price is to know somebody who can actually go and do something about it. But every citizen surely has a right to basic security that is the Government’s job to ensure. Why wait until people are just sick of the situation?

As former IGP Tun Hanif Omar said in his column last Sunday, in talking about how police accountability depends on media, “for citizens to make the best choice, we need the best information possible.

So, barring sensitivities to national security and public order, our society should be as transparent as possible.”

If we don’t complain, then nothing gets done. And the best avenue to complain through is the media.

But what if the media picks and chooses what it will allow the public to complain about?

What if, for reasons of law or sensitivity, it simply ignores issues even though these are troubling the public a great deal? Is this wise in the long term?

I see speeches about the media by the powers-that-be at the Internal Security Ministry, which of course oversees the police, which can only send chills down one’s spine.

The media are quite explicitly told that they have to behave themselves or else they will suffer the big stick.

Now this is hardly conducive to giving citizens the best information possible in order to make the best choices.

What do we really want? Do we want to take our place in the world as a developed nation or do we want to hide in our little cocoon?

Today nobody is isolated from anyone else, thanks to the Internet. Every clever thing we say here reaches the other side of the world in seconds.

Similarly, every single unintelligent word does the same. The key is to ensure there is more of the former than the latter.

Meantime, I want to know what the police are doing about this serial rapist in Kampung Baru, and what should parents do to protect their children, who obviously cannot be kept at home all the time.

If we fail to protect little girls, how confident can we be about security for everyone else?