It's a mad, mad, mad Malaysia

By Raja Petra Kamarudin (From Malaysia Today of Monday, December 19, 2005)

Hey, I did not call this column Loony Malaysia for nothing! Malaysia is downright loony and if you were to just look back at the week that was you will see what I mean.
First, we had the Commission of Inquiry that sat to hear testimonies from various witnesses as to the alleged 'naked woman from Mainland China who was asked to do ear squats in the Petaling Jaya police lockup' incident (or was it: woman from Mainland China who was asked to do ear squats naked in the Petaling Jaya police lockup?). Never mind, this incident; though not the first and definitely not the last in Malaysian history; sparked a public outrage. But the outrage was for different reasons for different people.
Malaysia's Parliament on both sides of the political divide was outraged that it was a Chinese national who was subjected to this treatment meant only for locals. (Of course, now that it has been 'proven' she was not Chinese after all but Malay, the outrage has simmered down).
And why all this outrage? Well, they suddenly realised that tourist arrivals from Mainland China had dropped drastically (more than half) due to Malaysia being perceived as unsafe. And for 2006 Malaysia is targeting one million tourists from Mainland China. How to meet this one million target if the Chinese are scared of Malaysia?
The reason Malaysia is being perceived as unsafe is because Malaysia is a Muslim country and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government had officially announced that Islam Hadhari is the religion being practiced here. Not knowing what Islam Hadhari actually means, the Chinese nationals chose to stay away from Malaysia rather than find out the hard way.
The Chinese nationals cannot be blamed for being 'blurred' about what Islam Hadhari is as even Malaysian Muslims themselves are equally blurred. Chinese have this saying: better you deal with a devil you know than an angel you don't know. So, while Islam Hadhari may actually be a good thing, better maybe than what Osama Bin Ladin is propagating, at least Bin Ladin is a 'devil' you know and are therefore safer with.
Then we have the scores of arrests and hundred or so still under detention without trial in Kamunting, who the government claims are Islamic militants. Just going by the number of arrests, it appears that Malaysia is a haven for Muslim terrorists. When Malaysia is constantly detaining Muslim 'terrorists' and 'extremists', and with the government alleging that PAS, an Islamic party of one million members, is a party of Muslim extremists, any wonder why the Chinese tourists would rather steer clear of this country?
Anyway, Malaysia went to great pains to explain to the Chinese that this country is a safe country and that Chinese tourists should visit Malaysia. Then what happens? Even before the spit on the minister's lips can dry, a video recording of a naked Chinese national doing ear squats starts making its rounds proving that Malaysia is not safe for Chinese nationals.
And this outraged Parliament whose members depend on government funds for their salary. And if the government kitty runs dry, then there would be no salary increments next year. And do you know how many Parliamentarians own hotels, travel and ticketing companies, and so on? If tourism declines, then their businesses would suffer as well.
Thus the outrage by Malaysia's Members of Parliament.
The police were also outraged. They were outraged because the incident had been video-taped. Cameras and cell phones with cameras are not allowed in police lockups, screamed the Deputy Chief of Police. This was clearly a breach of lockup rules and the police were going to investigate this matter so that the perpetrators of the video-taping could be brought to book.
During the Commission of Inquiry hearing, the Deputy Police Chief testified that it has always been the practice; dulu, kini dan selama-lamanya (before, now, and forever); to strip female detainees and subject them to ear squats. This is to ensure that anything hidden in their orifices would pop out. Well, if the people are not happy with this, then it shall no longer be called ear squats but bangun-cangkung (stand up-squat). The ears will no longer get involved in this ritual.
A medical expert who was called to testify at the same Commission of Inquiry said that this is not true. If there is something hidden in any of the orifices of your body, it would remain there even if one did ear squats (now called stand up-squat), especially if it is hidden in the ears since your hands are covering the ears.
This Inquiry, of course, raised more questions than provided answers. For example, other than drugs in a condom, what other dangerous items could one hide in the limited space in the orifices of your body? If it was a knife, it would have to be no longer than seven inches or so and covered with a sheath, or else one would suffer cuts in the most unwanted of places. Parangs (machetes), of course, would be out of the question, as would rocket or grenade launchers, never mind how much one's body openings may be stretchable.
Anyhow, this most puzzling and contradicting testimony from two sets of professionals prompted Malaysia Today to seek out our own medical expert (who wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons) and get his views on the matter. And this is what he said:

I thought I would expound at some length on the differing nature of the vaginal as opposed to the anal sphincter. Put simply: there is no vaginal sphincter. And the anal sphincter, comprising the anorectal sling, the well developed smooth muscle of the anorectal wall and the "physiological" component, is a very real and jealous one.
Leaking, yesterday's coming, or one's own vaginal content into one's panties is pretty much an unnoticeable event as opposed to scattering foul smelling excreta and gases. Thus, the anatomical and functional correlates.
Yet, today, I read with some interest that an O & G person has taken the stand to swear that performing the ketumbok ketampi (KK) will "straighten the anal canal and expel its contents".
I beg your pudding! How is happening? Does this mean that one involuntarily shits as one does this repeated manoeuvre? Am I on the same planet with this expert? Is this a serious Inquiry or a remake of Justice Cocklecarrot and the Dwarfs? (Readers unaware of this celebrated case should obtain a copy of Michael Frayn's 'The Best of The Beachcomber'. Read it and you will not see the world in the same light again.)
I, of course, have a vested interest in all these expert pronouncements. I would just love to ask the gentleman who has shoved his anal dilator or favourite bum excitator a wee bit too high to perform the KK and catch the thing as it pops out rather than send him into deep unconsciousness and muscular relaxation and assault his anal opening with a trayful of dilators, retractors, scopes, forceps and what have you as I have done in the past.
Is anyone among us from the police force able to authenticate the expulsion anal contraband, rigid or otherwise, by this method? I really would like to find out.
Well, there you have it. But what he means by all this is beyond me.
Next, we have the election petition being filed by PAS. PAS alleges that there was rampant and blatant cheating in the recent Pengkalan Pasir by-election. And PAS supports its allegation with tangible evidence.
Amongst this evidence are incidences of 200 voters who have died and who came back to vote. What PAS may not realise is, the people of Kelantan are very passionate about their politics and they pledge undying loyalty to their party. This, they are even prepared to swear on the Qur'an.
It is fine to swear on the Qur'an undying loyalty for your party. But what happens when you do die? Well, then you have to ensure that you come home to vote, dead or not dead. You may die, but your loyalty cannot die, for you have sworn undying loyalty on the Qur'an. We must also take note, just because you die does not mean you lose your right to vote. Your eligibility to vote depends on your voter registration and as long as you are still a registered voter then you retain this right.
Coming back from the grave may be considered strange from a westerner's perspective. But many Malays believe that the dead can come back. In fact, many Malays (Chinese and Indians as well) visit bomohs (witch doctors) who are able to communicate with the dead without the assistance of modern communication devices such as cell phones.
If you were to visit the Ladang cemetery in Kuala Terengganu (where the giant turtle on the round-about used to be), you will find that there is a payphone in the cemetery. This was of course built in the days before we had cell phones so payphones were the order of the day then. Why do you think they built a payphone in the cemetery? Would, therefore, the dead being able to come home to vote look strange now?
Certainly PAS is going to lose its case as Malaysian courts would also see it this way.
The other evidence PAS has was the case of 215 voters voting by postal votes whereas only 195 voters are registered as postal voters. This, again, cannot be classified as cheating. Malaysia's postal service is such that if you were to post anything you are never really sure when it will arrive or whether it will arrive at all. And it is quite common that anything sent by registered post actually takes longer to arrive compared to normal post (try it and see).
Okay, so we had 20 more ballot papers than those registered to vote by postal votes. But this does not mean they were ballot papers posted recently for this by-election. They could have been postal votes posted last year for the March 2004 General Election and which just arrived. For all you know, the 195 postal votes sent for this by-election are still on the way and have not arrived yet, and would probably arrive in time for the next general election in 2007 or 2008.
Finally, Malaysia has signed an agreement with Japan to allow greater access for Japanese cars that wish to penetrate the Malaysian market. It is believed this move augurs well for Proton, Malaysia's leading brand of Japanese cars, which of late has been seeing declining sales.
Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"