Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Teenage Love and Nuclear Arms
In the NST editorial page ( April 14, p.16). we have two very interesting but very contrasting issues. One is about the teenage girl (only 15) who fled home to be with her lover in Langkawi as commented on by the Editor and the other about keeping away nuclear arms from the terrorists written by Louis Charbonneau. The contrast, one on sweet love the other on war and destruction, really caught my attention. About love and hate, the extremities of human emotions.
The teenage love affair ( don't want to drag her name in again), led her to leave home, skip parents and school to be with her beau a supervisor in a restaurant, and when the parent and relatives came to take her home threatened to throw herself into the sea. That's love, true and unadulterated, which unfortunately smote a girl of 15, and makes it illegal for her to get married without the consent of the Syariah Court. She had to be 18 to marry without her parent's consent. I knew about the latter but not the former legal requirement. So it is the Syariah Court which can decide on whether a girl is "psychologically mature enough for marriage".( And I thought Islam allows a girl to be married at 14!)
As it is the girl's beau is in trouble and is being detained by the police for investigation. For what, I wonder. For seducing and underage girl? For casting a spell on her or using black magic to dominate her mind and soul? If he can do that then I would say that he's quite a guy but a little stupid fpr selecting an underage girl to be his victim. Or did he employ a bomoh to 'steal' away the girl's roh or semangat? That's taking us back to the days of magic and mantras.
I'm pretty sure that this is just a case of a girl having a crush on someone and getting to know a boy for the first time, away from home and the very tight control of the mother. The fist taste of romance and love is certainly intoxicating and getting a severe reproach from the mother rather than a kind and loving advice would send a girl "ballistic". This is where I feel that a girl should be allowed to get to know the boys, under close supervision though, so that no single boy will try to play her out.
I don't belief that the Syariah Court and the legal system should be dragged into this as suggested by the NST editor.
It's the Nuclear Arms thing that should deserve more serious attention. Our PM had attented the Nuclear Security Summit assembly in Washington where the US president, Barack Obama, called on the leaders of 47 countries to draw up an action plan to secure their nuclear weapons material, to prevent it from passing into the hands of the terrorists.
"The summit - the biggest US -hosted assembly of world leaders in Washington in six decades - was a test of Obama's ability to rally global action on his( itlics mine) nuclear agenda." He was urging all nations to reduce or give up their nuclear stockpiles (or fissile materials for making nuclear weapon) and secure them against the terrorists. "Galucci and other nuclear security experts said that securing ...(the) stockpiles was agood place to start , but insufficient. They said it was time to agree to a ban on producing fissile material for nuclear weapons."
We all know by now who or which countries the US feel must be stripped of their nuclear stockpile immediately. While US and Russia had earlier agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals by 30% in ten years, China,Iran, North Korea, Israel, India, Pakistan (and God knows who else) had refused to undertake any such action. The Washington Summit set out to get all the 47 world leaders (only 46 attended the Summit for Israel refused to come) " to agree on an action plan ...to secure all of their nuclear weapons material within four years so that it was no longer vulnerable to theft."
One can interpret the US' intention in any way one wants to. But one its obvious implications is that whatever body is created to ensure and enforce the implementation of the agreement will have the power to search and investigate all installations having to do with the development of nuclear energy for peaceful use or otherwise. Would Iran, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea agree to that? Our PM had already explained to President Obama Malaysia's stand on the issue and that we do not support any plans by any country to develop nuclear weapons. The question is if the agreement as envisaged by the US is signed would if give the US the right to go into any country to see that no nuclear weapon is being developed? Would it also give US the right to wipe out any installation considered as likely to develop nuclear weapon and the country itself in the process? Iran is, of course, the immediate target for such a possibility while there does not seem to be any effort by US to bring Israel into the picture.
How's that set against the Issue of a 15 year old girl running away from home to be with and get married to the boy she loved?
I'd go for an Editorial on the nuclear issue any time.
(PS. The NST Editorial today April 15, focused on the issue and stressed on a country's right " to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes". But who will determine whether a nuclear plant is set up for peaceful purposes or otherwise? Who will come, inspect the plant and call for its demolition if alleged to be otherwise? Iraq was destroyed because of such allegation which had not been proven until today. Allowing US or an independent authority with US interest to come into an independent nation to investigate its power plant, would tantamount to compromising the country's sovereignty. Hence the Editorial suggested that Malaysia maintains a balance between sovereignty and cooperation. Can you when pushed to a corner like