Friday, June 24, 2011

What Do the Warnings Tell Us and Others

We hear a lot of warnings issued to the public by the Police and other Government Departments, the City Coiuncils and Local Aithorities and certainly by national leaders, through the radio, tv and mass media. Put them together and read them like a public statement. What impression and what image do we have of the country and nation?

Lets try to do this for size.

Don't walk around alone in quiet places or you can get mugged or robbed.
Don't go out alone in busy town and city streets or you'll attacked by snatch thief ( directed especially to the ladies).
Don't wear expensive jewelry, rings and watches in busy and crowded places or some thugs will try to snatch them away or wait around to jump on you.
Ladies and young girls should not go out with man- or boy-friends alone or risk being abducted, raped or killed.
Don't leave valuables and expensive items (like handphones, laptops and notebooks) in your car when you park it to go somewhere. The screen will be smashed and the valuables taken away.
Don't leave a lot of cash and valuables in your house wnen you go out or your house will be broken in.
Don't speed when you drive for speed ( not incompetent drivers) kill.
Don't exceed the speed limit of 80/90 kph on highways and sometimes reduced to 40/50/60 kph (at least it's 110 kph in NS) while modern cars can go up to 180 kph easy. (Going at 40 kph is like going on a bicycle.
Don't take part in get-rich-quick schemes or scams or you'll get cheated.
Don't trust fast talking peddlers.
Don't trust strangers who come to the house to sell things, seek help or financial contribution to some building schemes.
Don't throw rubbish, plastic bags, broken pieces of furniture and unwanted babies around. (They are almost dumped under the same category),
Don't eat (at foodstalls) or play on the roadside (while most open space and even playgrounds have been used up for development).
Don't respond to annoucement that you've won a prize for it counld be a trick.

God. There are so many other public warnings that I can't recall offhand!

What kind of image do you conjure up when you can't do all those things mentioned? Don't you get the feeling that this is a pretty-screwed up country where the police and the law enforcement people are not doing much to prevent criminal and undesirable things from happening, not prevent people from enjoying the freedom of a developed nation. Crime there'll always be but to take away people's freedom to prevent crime both petty and serious, is taking the easy way out.

Another thing is to prevent the violation of by-laws and regulations ( and sometimes just a new road sign which has not been gazetted) by imposing a fine. Boasting over the total sum of fines collected (running into hundreds of million RM) merely shows that more people are violating the rules and you're quite happy about it.

There are now talks about increasing the compound or the fine for traffic offences to a thousand ringgit or more when even the RM300 fine imposed on a poor motorcyclist who couldn't afford to buy a car, is already a rather pathetic way of fighting traffic offenses. Yet a distinguished ex-political leader who admitted guilt to peddling a sex scandal video was only fined RM1000 ringgit by the court while the others who actually committed the crime were fined RM3000 and RM1500. I think many pornography peddlers would find this a very encouraging development since they can make a hundred thousand times more
money than the fine imposed if caught.

All these again contribute to shaping the image that our country creates both within the country and overseas, aside from the mounting exposure of corruption cases (which is ggod as a process in eliminating the crime). The warnings which are issued to the public sometimes sound so petty as if to take the easy way out of combatting or fighting the crime like saying "don't sleep in the park if you don't want to be robbed, mugged, or (for the ladies) to be raped."

I wish that the Authorities will think more deeply before issuing a public warning. Especially when the warning doesn't seem to carry any enforcement measure.


kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah,
Spot on! There seems to be a thinking of 'punishment would create a better society' And the sad thing is that the quantum and the tone of warning would get worst just to indicate people just did not learn.
Worst still, it knocked on those who can ill afford just so to tell them 'serve you right!'
Maybe the Sec 39B of the Dangerous
Drugs Act numbed our thinking and made other acts of wrong seemed trivial ( the no. awaiting execution is substantial but still there's no let-up)
There has to be some proactive re-thinking on these issues on the part of authorities, I agree!

norzah said...

Thank you very much bro Kaykuala for the support. I think there are already too many of these warnings that people don't care anymore. I've heard a young man cried in frustration. "what's this, everything cannot. Sit down and hold hands with your girl also cannot!". No wonder many youths are rebelling, especially Muslim youths.

abdulhalimshah said...

Our Malaysian Authorities are getting more paranoidal these days owing to the culture of distrust that have pervaded the country since the outbreak of the Emergency in the early fifties. When the CPM launched its armed attacks against the caucasian planters in Perak as the flashpoint, nothing and no one could be trusted anymore because the seemingly harmless waiter could well be the agent of CPM who was camped deep in the tropical jungles of Malaya then.
Now bring forward the same scenario but in a different form, instead of CT's we have SD (Street demonstrators), the Commonwealth Forces who comprised of Gurkhas, Fijians, Australians, British, Irish and Welsh who were drafted have been replaced by our riot squads and the GF Policemen. So why talk of warnings, it is a repeat of the " Jabatan Penerangan and Filem Harimau " which announced its presence well beforehand through the loudspeakers mounted on the govt vehicles for the purpose of propaganda.
It is history repeating itself!

norzah said...

Yes, Akhi, many things we see today are a repeat of what we've seen before. The information van with blaring speakers was the substitute for the papers and the radio before. Now we have all the modern gadgetaries and the warnings ( or threats made) are also heard or read by people outdide the country. They might think that we are still in a state of emergency, full of muggers, robbers, killers, rapers etc. My fear is that these warnings hide the real swindlers in the country. Need i say who?