Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Interpol should learn from Rais Yatim

The following appeared in Malaysiakini:

Interpol should learn from Rais Yatim
G Krishnan May 6, 08 4:49pm

Apparently, according to recent news reports the foreign minister has proposed to the cabinet that Malaysian women travelling abroad on their own should be required to carry a permission letter from their parents or employers। This measure is to help prevent the women from being 'mules' for drug traffickers। Ah, what a novel idea! I wonder what took the good minister so long to come up with this plan for dealing with drug trafficking। The sheer brilliance of this strategy reveals once again how cutting-edge our government officials truly are.
In this spirit of concern for our citizens, I thought the minister might be interested in some more 'thoughtful' and 'socially responsible' policies to go along with the very constructive and insightful aforementioned idea. For starters, we all know that for many years now, our police force has been doing a miserable job controlling our young men from engaging in illegal motorcycle racing on city streets. We are all familiar with the safety hazard they have been, not to mention the noise pollution and disturbance they repeatedly cause to public order.
In light of the authorities' inability to curb these criminals and public menace, I'm surprised the brilliant minds in our government have not come up with a similarly ingenious and imaginative proposal to require our young men to carry a permission letter from a parent or guardian permitting them a late night out on the town with the motorcycle. Perhaps such a measure, similar to Foreign Minister Rais Yatim's proposed one, will help curb these ‘Mat Rempits' and the related criminal conduct they engage in.
You know, while we're at it I have another thought. Perhaps the Home Ministry should also propose that all men carry a permission letter from their wives, mothers, or elder sisters when they leave the house. Think about it. It seems that whenever the police raid any prostitution den in KL or any other location, they seem to find men patronising these prostitutes. Surely, if we go by the logic of foreign ministers and his circus, oops, I mean circle of advisors, we could prevent our Malaysian men from straying into prostitution or even illegal gambling dens by requiring them to carry a letter of permission from their women folk when they venture out to town.
After all, why should our government discriminate against men by only proposing to protect our women from falling pray to criminal activity? Are Malaysian men not entitled to being protected like the women? I am sure we could propose and implement similarly applicable policies like the ones I've suggested above for our men.
Now perhaps you're wondering: ‘Wait a minute, how would carrying an apparent letter of permission to leave the home [or travel abroad] be any effective in preventing someone from voluntarily or otherwise participating in illegal activities?’ Now, now, come on. Please don't confuse the issue by infusing good reasoning and sound logic into the matter. Why let sensible reasoning and sound logic get in the way of the Foreign Minister? Surely, he has thought this through very carefully and assessed the data to know that a letter of permission (from men) is just what women will need when they travel abroad to curb the complex problem of drug trafficking.
I also know what many of you (not affiliated with these ministy) are thinking. You're probably thinking, among other unmentionable things, the proposal to curb women's involvement in drug trafficking clearly is a red herring. Now you're going to give me some weird interpretation that this is another one example of these 'back door' patriarchal measures by the government – maybe even in part to continue to appease the religious extremists in the country.
After all, that's probably why the government will not implement similar 'crime preventing' measures like the ones I describe above for men. Now, come on, don't be so cynical. You know, according to the foreign minister, with such a declaration, there would be full disclosure to the authorities of the destination and reason for travel. Presumably, this cannot be ascertained by other means.
All you cynical people out there really should have more faith in the brilliant minds that head of government agencies and think up such ‘profound’ crime prevention measures. I can only say that the Interpol and other international agencies around the world should really look and learn from our amazing government ministers and leaders.