Sunday, May 23, 2004

Cruelty

Anger, disgust and sadness - these were some of the feelings I felt when I saw the graphic pictures of horrific wounds suffered by Nirmala Bonet - the 19-year-old maid who was brutally abused by her employer. Malaysia seems to be in the World news for the wrong reasons.

It was reported that Malaysian newspapers were deluged by letters of outrage from Malaysians of all walks of life and irrespective of ethnicity. However, I was surprised to find that some of my acquaintances were strangely silent on the matter. These were the same people who used to flood my mail boxes with news about the abuses in Iraq and stories about the suffering of the Afghan and Palestinian people. Why the silence now when the atrocities are at home?

Another thing that surprised me was that the accused, Yim Pek Ha, was a a 36 years old housewife and the mother of four children. I find a parallel with another recent local headline news - about the mother who abused her baby girl to death.

Does this mean that anyone seemingly normal, including you and me, can become a devil? Also in both cases, the husband was a silent spectator. Doesn't that make them just as guilty? They could have stopped it but they did not. A lot of questions and a lot of soul searching to do.

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