Public disorderly behaviour

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'd always though Malaysia was a free country, even if not at the same level as Western nations. THIS however, made me start thinking it's probably not quite true. Hugging and kissing is now considered "disorderly behaviour" as it is not consistent with "Asian morals". While I could understand if this were so in more conservative places, this took place in Kuala Lumpur, supposedly the most educated and thus liberal of all states in Malaysia.

I personally think it's balderdash. I'm more inclined to believe that they were charged solely because they refused to fill the pockets of enforcement officers with a bribe. It's a first that people get charged and possibly face a RM2000 fine as well as a jail term simply for kissing and hugging in public. It's no wonder every other nation can't help but consider our laws draconian. The chief justice's defence of the mayor's decision was solely a hyberbole of the situation which did not relate to the case at all. His claim is simply that by allowing kissing and hugging in public, we are allowing anarchy. (Quoted from the article, "So, they should be given freedom to live as they like? The constitution allows all citizens to do that (hugging and kissing) even by the roadside, in a public park?") Hello? It's not anarchy to kiss and hug in public. If I went be the same logic, I think it's more logical to charge every single smoker who takes a puff in public. It's a health hazard to every other person, and since when was smoking "consistent with Asian morals"? It would save the government millions of ringgit on health care and anti-smoking campaigns. Did I mention also that just about everything we see on television is "not consistent with Asian morals"? Charge everyone for watching television please...

Who can say just when something is considered "disorderly" and "consistent with Asian values"? Simply put, "disorderly behaviour" can be defined as "anything the mayor deems he/she does not like". I don't like you laughing out loud like that, it's "disorderly behaviour". We as Asians should not laugh at people openly. You're fined RM2000, or you can pay me so I can close an eye. I saw you show the finger. That's "disorderly behaviour". I fine you RM2000. I heard you say the 'f' word. RM2000 fine for disorderly behaviour... pathetic...

I'm just exaggerating, but the fact that such an incident occurs just goes to show that there might be a problem with our justice system. It doesn't take a genius to know that we have taken a step back from progressing towards a mature, considerate and open society.

I fear the day where every single citizen has to have a 2 meter distance between every other person in public. I fear the day where even married couples cannot go out together because anything they might do together constitutes a violation of "Asian morals". Most of all, I fear the day where every member in society doesn't even CARE when things like this happen.

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Posted by Gerald at 6/01/2006 02:16:00 PM