Tomb Raiders

Pleasant Surprise

I had just settled down to watch the news on television in the evening when I recieved a telephone call from my Dad in Sibu. He was concerend about the things I put up in my blog especially the ones relating to Sarawak Tribune. I told him I understand his concern. I assured him that the things in the blog are 'historical materials', things that have passed censorhip - both the legal part and my personal censorship. Now I may have to do more self censorship as I have just discovered my Dad reads my blog too. That is why I am not sure why the Sarawak Tribune manage to reprint those 'cartoons' in their publications. It was printed a long long time ago before it found its way in our news. I have a lot of friends working there and I hope that any decision on it will not jeopardise the welfare of the workers. The television news yesterday also reported that there have been counter claims from the editor-on-duty who resigned that someone at a higher level was with him when the newspaper was in print and then again there was another version that the material was mistakenly' slipped in the last minute before printing. Whatever initial investigation that is being carried out, I hope transparency prevails as this has become a very very BIG issue. Even the Malaysian Prime Minister is not very happy about it and believe me, our PM is the last person anyone would want to tick off. Turning this into a behind the scene drama and suspense would be damaging to the State in the long run - so whoever is responsible, just wave your hands and be on your way.

So Dad, don't worry, you will be my Blog's Chief Editor :)

Tomb Robbers

As I was going through my collection of old newspapers, I managed to come across 2 old news clippings which I had wanted to preserve. It was turning yellow in colour so I thought I had better scanned it. It concerned the activities of certain adventurous tomb robbers operating in Sarawak. Though I enjoy watching the movies Raiders of the Lost Ark which featured Harrison Ford and Tomb Raiders with Angelina Jolie doing her Lara Croft thing, I am really not a great fan of the Sarawak Tomb Raiders. Though the news of this robbery happened almost four years ago, it is almost the 14th anniversary of the passing of my late paternal grandfather. I could not imagine that some people would want to rob a simple cemetery belonging to my late grandparents. Worst still, they opened up the coffin and took the belongings that was buried together. My dad said that he had put some a small amount of money in my late grandmother's hands before she was laid to rest next to my late grandfather in October 2001 - that was taken forcibly as it seems that their remains were 'disturbed' when the robbers were searching for valuables. It also hurts to know that some parts of the 'remains' were outside the coffin. It was more painful to know that they had done their evil deed only seven months after my late grandmother was buried.

The Borneo Post of 4 May 2002 (Pictures of dad with my late grandparents' coffins)

Sarawak Tribune May 4 2002 (Pictures of dad with my late grandparents' coffins)

Sarawak Tribune 4 May 2002

The Sarawak Tribune above described the robbery as an 'irresponsible act'. If I were to add in the words in this blog, I would use all the 'words' that would be worse that 'irresponsible' but as I have said, I believe is 'self censorship'. To this day, the robbers are yet to be caught (though some were caught, the robbery activities sill occurred around the State so I believe there are different groups). So if the living feel that the 'snatch theft' case deserves wide media attention as these thieves prey on the living, we must also condemn the 'parasitic' robbers who prey on the dead. There, I have said my piece.

Comments

Sorry about your grannies... this is so sick and cursed are the people who desecrate graves!

I have a totally different view on self censorship. Yeah, we might say it is not worth it in times of sensitivity like this. However, if you look beyond the coin, why must we accomodate to other people's feelings in general? Do they practise a form of no questionning and no making fun of us?

Freedom of speech comes with certain responsibilities. I agree. However I do not agree when people curb freedom of speech when it questions and make fun of thought, ideas, beliefs, cultures and etc. Fine if you wanna be sensitive and asked people not to insult you and to poke at you. However, do not hold people hostage and resort to acts of violence and rage. It is very uncalled for.

In our own personal quiet space among members of our same group and community, we make fun of others and we speak negatively of others. It is a fact of life. Then what is so wrong if others do the same openly? Are we practising double standards?

Sensitive issues that requires the curbing of the freedom of speech is only for national security. However, national security in the sense where there is urgency and the need to only.

People ought to learn how to take on criticisms more lightly and learn something from it. If people poke at you, then poke back at them. Practising the holier than thou kind of attitude shows how immature and insecure the person is!

Freedon of speech or censorship? Nah. Hambug!
SilveRaveN said…
some people simply have no respect. tsk tsk tsk
chris anakapai said…
Yes, I somewhat agree with Dangerous Variable about how we react to 'sensitive issues'. Those practising holier than thou attitudes are often the very same people who commit the very same sin that they condemn others of.

The 'Tomb Raiders', yeah, they did strike at the Catholic cemetery near my place and the cemetery near my kampung. Damn 'sial' these people la. Nyadi bandau nyengkubang pendam, meri bini anak makai duit asil menyati orang udah mati...
Desmond said…
DV & Chrisanakapai: First of all thank you for your thoughts on freedom of speech and how people are trying to curb it. The will of the majority sometimes takes precedence - that much I can say. Which is why I messaged quietly to those who emailed me about the cartoons that our great nation is in the process of growing up. How we handle matters like the ones that just happened to Sarawak Tribune (which I believe is a management-censorship - sensitivity issue now) and the 'freedom of speech' (which is a status of democracy practice in Malaysia issue) that you raised - So to the term Freedom, I will usually ask what amount in degree of freedom is to be granted while at the same time we can ensure harmony can be maintained and sustained?

How our country, countrymen and leaders handle (and react) the different situations (Moorthy case, cartoon case), will determine where we are going and how our country will be shaped. It is fortunate that we do not see those 'violent scenes' as seen in CNN here in Malaysia, meaning to say we seem to be on the right track in nation building....only the rusty parts need oiling up. I tend to look at the bright side as I would want the next generation that comes up to inherit a peaceful Malaysia. Reading the book on The May 13 I noticed that it was much more of a race thing when the freedom of speech was abused and our political maturity at that time was considered green -the words incited people and it led racial riots. Similiarly the Balkan States at one time used to multi ethnic like ours when race and religion supremacy reared its ugly head. The actions imposed on those who seem to champion 'freedom of speech' at some time seems harsh but I believe its a form of 'advice' and a 'nudge' on the shoulder to remind us of the potential dangers. Though sometimes wrongly imposed but as long as its not done in an overzealous manner resulting in overkill aka bullying one to total submission.

As for Sarawak Tribune - someone really have to take responsibility but it must commensurate with the seriousness of the wrongdoing. I saw the reprinted version in that so called edition and its a poor tiny version of the original one, used just to support the 'news report' of the cartoon - you can't even make out the cartoon. It could have been an oversight by the printers - but those who feel hurted by it demands some form of heavy punishment - to teach one a lesson maybe. So whoever is implicated in the 'internal enuiry' should accept the responsibility and step down for the sake of the other 100 or so workers who depend on the paper.

Silver Raven: There are certainly some wierd people out there.
desmond,

it is a matter of wisdom on what content you put on your blog. In times like this, we want to be wise and don't want to give any ammo for the non-intellectual tunnel visioned idiots out there to come get at us.

we do understand. However, I do not like being held hostage to people who resort to violence and thus infringe our freedom to speak out. It is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
chris anakapai said…
I wonder,
How far is too far?

and

How 'far' is our 'far' compared with theirs?
Seems like some out there have shorter 'length' of tolerance compared to us, when we have to put up with some $xxx they throwin' at us.
Tomb raiders ehh? my auntie's grave was beside one of the grave that was "opened" ... i don't know how to describe it.Bones, bones everywhere. My cousin who was following me there to check his dad's grave, was already vomitting at the back. Must be the scene. Stood there for a long time, feeling angry and ready to explode. My other auntie's grave was not too lucky anyway. It was totally an act of disrespect. The coffin was out and everything was messed up.

Ghost stories started to spread around Sibu that time. No wonder la, if you are resting peacefully in your grave and somebody kacau you, you too would be angry. Anyway, I hope this will be the last episode of such a tragedy. To those responsible, maybe the sumpahan and the beras kuning ritual didn't work at you now. But remember, everybody dies and when you die, I hope God will punish you terribly by putting those tomb raiders in the deepest, darkest,hottest and scariest part of hell. Enough said.

On the freedom of speech thingy, no comment. We do need self censorship anyway. If not, the country will be totally chaotic, without it. Everything has a limit. But then again, enti utai simple bakanya pun tau ngasuh sida ya ngelaya orang ... hehehehehehehehe ... no comment.

Don't forget to give the "anak mit" their "pepets" when they go to sleep tonite. "Nyabak" ya lagi.