Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Johor gang rape victims were all Chinese?

I knew that there were lots of gang rapes recently in Johor. According to NST and Lim Kit Siang's blog:

On Monday 11 June, a 19-year-old woman was abducted with her boy-friend, and robbed. The couple was brought to an abandoned hut in Taman Tampoi Indah where she was gang-raped by three of the four robbers while her boyfriend was forced to watch. The case on Monday was the fourth known case since late April.

• Early May - 28 year old pregnant woman robbed and gang-raped in Plentong in the presence of three-year-old son, after robbers had forced their way and drove off the car at a petrol station near Tampoi where the husband had stopped to answer nature’s call.

• On May 22, another robbery-cum-gang rape took place in Pantai Lido, and about two weeks ago along the Pasir Gudang Highway.

• 5th June around 10 pm - A construction contractor and female companion at a petrol station at Pasir Gudang highway overpowered by three armed robbers who drove off with them as hostages. Both robbed and female victim gang-raped at Kempas area.

But what I did not know was that Chinese women were being targeted. I wonder how that fact got left out of the press reports...
State MCA chief Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek urged the public to remain calm. "Do not let racial sentiment go to your head, and turn the crime issue into an emotional topic," he said in Muar yesterday.

The priority should be to let the police investigate and capture the suspects as soon as possible. "The criminals picked their victims randomly and the public should not think that a particular race is being targeted."
MCA is again walking the tightrope... not wanting to further alienate its Chinese support base with the rising perception of timidness & impotence in it's defence of the community..., but at the same time, not wanting to do a Tony Pua ie. where highlighting the ethnic realities is seen by a supremacist group like UMNO Youth, and the Malay press, as assigning blame along racial lines.

But I agree on not harping on the racial details,... for now... 4 incidents do not constitute a situation that risks developing into a Bosnia nor Indonesia in 1998... where mass rape was used a weapon of racial/ethnic violence. But listen well, you buffoons at MCA. The police must NOT be treated with kid gloves (for whatever reason), nor with the hope that mere kind words of encouragement will improve their performance. They have a job to do, and for the love of god... they are not doing it! And if you ask me, it seems like crime has gotten worse since their hefty salary increase.

Malaysia needs to develop a culture of heads rolling for this kind of shit. I want to see Ministers of Internal Security, Police IGPs, OCPDs and CPOs resign in disgrace and without pension (ala Korea and Taiwan) and most of us wouldn't mind if a few of them commit suicide (ala Japan). What I don't want to see is the force transferring a few fat cat buck passing senior police officers to and fro (with promotions and increased allowances) and calling that a punishment - expecting to mollify the public's outrage.


seantang said...

Picked up the comment below from LKS' blog. Why the English language press is suppressing some of the details?

justiciary Says:
June 15th, 2007 at 10: 37.55

The grave security situation in JB has prompted the Chinese community there to stage a 100000 signature campaign calling the government n the police to act fast n effectively to control the situation.This news is the headline in all Chinese dailies reflecting the seriousness of the security problem in JB.Surprisingly I failed to see this news item in the Star.Any explanation?

The police has been blamed again for their incompetence.On Tuesday 12.6.2007,a young Chinese couple was robbed in JB.The man was severely wounded and the woman was gang raped by four Malay robbers.One good samaritan nearby tried to call the police.But he was made a turnaround from the Larkin police station,and to Tampo P.S. and then to the Central P.S. in JB.On the way this samaritan even alerted a patrol car on duty at a roadside.They also failed to act .Please read the details carried by Sin Chew Daily on 13.6.07.

seantang said...

Damn... police stations are still refusing to accept reports?! And this is a report about a violent crime in progress... not something trivial like a fender-bender or stupid like those UMNO reports on people raising "sensitive" issues.

An excerpt of a post by LKS in his blog touching on police ineffectiveness:

There is no better way to review the implementation of the Royal Police Commission’s recommendations after two years than to start with the front-page headline of Sin Chew Daily street edition for Thursday, “Police cannot refuse to accept report” following reports that in the case of the abduction-gang rape of a 19-year-old girl and her 22-year-old boyfriend in Johor Bahru on Monday, attempts to make report on the oncoming crime was shunted from Larkin Police Station to Tampoi Police Station and again to Johor Baru Tengah Police Station or the crime could have been averted with prompt police action.

Why is the problem of the police refusing to accept a report still prevalent in the country when it is supposed to have been rooted out for good two years ago?

seantang said...

Additional Sunday evening reading on Indonesia 1998. Take note of this observation by the writer of the attached article. Tell me Malaysian politicians aren't the same.

Indonesians desperately need to hang together in their hour of need. They do not need leaders who feel they must exploit racial conflict in order to survive in power.

The article below:

Digest 68

Poverty drives Indonesian politics towards communalism
31 August, 1998

[This appeared in The Melbourne Age, 4 September 1998].

As Nazi Germany blamed the Jews for its economic ills, as Hansonite Australia blames Asians, so now Habibie's impoverished Indonesia is moving from mere rhetoric against the Chinese to real acts of terror.

In mid-July a team of respected Indonesian human rights workers led by the Jesuit Sandyawan Sumardi revealed they had details of 152 Chinese Indonesian women pack raped or otherwise sexually abused during the racially charged riots in Jakarta on 13-15 May. Twenty of the women died. Probably many other victims, perhaps hundreds, remain unknown to the team, who feel sure the rapes were deliberately organised. 'It's a Bosnia', said the shocked deputy chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Marzuki Darusman.

This and similar revelations made headlines throughout the world. Outrage swept the Chinese community throughout East and Southeast Asia. Beijing demanded the perpetrators be brought to justice. Taipei cancelled rice assistance of 200,000 tons.

Indonesian authorities promised an impartial investigation. But in mid-August national police chief General Roesmanhadi stunned the human rights community when he denied that any rapes had occurred at all. Indonesians who claimed otherwise, he added, could be charged with spreading malicious rumours.

The issue of the rapes was discussed in cabinet on 26 August. Afterwards, so many top government officials repeated the denial that it must now be official policy that the rapes did not occur. Among them were the chief of the intelligence agency Bakin, the commander of the armed forces, the deputy speaker of parliament, and the Information Minister.

To cap it all, Tuty Alawiyah, as a woman and Minister for Women's Affairs the one figure in government to whom women might look for understanding, also said the rapes were unproven, and had caused the government a lot of problems due to overseas pressure.

Why is the Indonesian government in such a hurry to deny the rapes occurred when they are attested by reliable sources? The reasons appear to be twofold. One is that, for Habibie's government as much as for Suharto's, denial is apparently the easiest way to deflect foreign pressure. Foreign Minister Ali Alatas took the same line on this that he has taken on every human rights issue in the past. From political prisoners to East Timor, 'foreign pressure is counter-productive'.

This is a troubling sacrifice of the truth to diplomatic expediency. Unless it is quickly reversed, it will become the first serious black mark against the new government's international human rights stance.

The other reason for the denial has to do with domestic politics. This one is more troubling still.

Worldwide Chinese solidarity condemning the rapes evoked defensive sentiment in Indonesia, especially in conservative Islamic quarters. Anger focussed on one anonymous account by a rape victim that was widely circulated on the internet, in which rapists shouted praise to Allah during their vicious act. The story was impossible, it was said. Indeed, some photos of alleged rape victims on the internet have been proven to be false. The report by Sandyawan's team has meanwhile been ignored.

Popular sentiment has thus subsumed the uncomfortable truth into perennial Chinese-vs-Muslims communal bigotry. Indonesian internet discussions have repeatedly portrayed Indonesian human rights workers who defend the rape victims as 'traitors' who deserve to die.

The frustration is perhaps understandable. 'We've already got nothing to eat, and now we're being scolded as a despicable nation', one woman fumed. But to allow it to invade policy would be disastrous. Yet the post-Suharto government is so weak, and desperation over the collapsed economy so explosive, that the temptation for cabinet to exploit this communal sentiment has evidently become too strong to resist.

The government stands to gain from this sordid tactic in several ways. It wins popularity among considerable sections of the community (though at the expense of others), it divides the community and thus paralyses opposition, and it deflects attention from the need for genuine reform.

Government denial of the rapes, in my view, must unfortunately be interpreted in this way. Habibie's government is in a classic 'weak state' situation. It is beholden to militant anti-Chinese groups within society and cannot, at least on the issue of race relations, act in the interests of all.

Indonesians desperately need to hang together in their hour of need. They do not need leaders who feel they must exploit racial conflict in order to survive in power.

It has been true for a long time that the state in Indonesia belongs to certain strong elites, who have felt no qualms about denying the abuses committed against weaker groups. The horrors in East Timor and Aceh have been denied for many years. In that sense the present controversy just proves that Habibie's government is by no means new enough.

But there is something chilling going on when the abuse being denied was committed against people who are themselves members of a comfortable middle class, in the capital city, by men who everywhere else are treated as dangerous criminals. If even these people, in the heart of the nation, are not safe, heaven only help those in the outer regions.

Such studied disregard for proper process at the highest level is a most dangerous development for Indonesia. It not only represents a direct threat to the safety of Chinese Indonesians throughout the country, it is also a threat to Indonesian human rights workers who have defended them, and hence a threat to civil decency itself.

Gerry van Klinken, editor, 'Inside Indonesia' magazine.

Anonymous said...

And yet we want to give these people salary increments of up to 40+%?

IMHO, it's better to use our votes to pressurise/threaten the politicians than to pressurise the PDRM.