Friday, November 10, 2006

Then They Came For Lulu, and By That Time There Was No One Left To Speak Up For Her

Have you heard of the poem which starts with "First they came…"?
It is a poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

WHy is Lulu bringing this up?
This was in the papers today.

American couple gets apology and payment
10 Nov 2006
KUALA LUMPUR: It wasn’t exactly what he was asking for, but American tourist Randal K. Barnhart was happy to accept a verbal apology and a goodwill payment from the Langkawi Tourism Action Council (LTAC).
Last month, 62-year-old Barnhart and his wife Carole Joanne, 61, who were renting a condominium in Langkawi, were awakened by a pounding on their door at 2am. Six men from the state Religious Department demanded to inspect their home, and asked to see his "woman" when Barnhart refused to let them in. They asked the couple to produce their marriage certificate and noted their particulars from their passports before they left.
Barnhart wanted three things: A letter of apology from the department, a letter that they will not be bothered again, and compensation of RM4,315 — the amount he paid to send his traumatised wife back to the United States.
The Tourism Ministry asked for a full report from the Kedah Menteri Besar and the department before meeting the couple.
"The religious officers were just carrying out their duties as enforcement officers. The only problem here is that they mishandled the couple," said an LTAC spokesman.
He stressed that the sum paid to the Barnharts was purely a goodwill gesture.Barnhart said: "They apologised to me although they were not at fault, and I understand their concern."But he added that he had heard nothing from the Religious Department and might take legal action, depending on his lawyer’s advice.In order to prevent a repeat of this incident, the LTAC is now acting as adviser to the Integrated Operation Board set up by Langkawi enforcement agencies.

The incident happened in Langkawi, Kedah.
the LTAC spokesman has said that it was well in the religious officers right to go banging at doors and forcing an American couple to open up, and prove that they were married.
Carrying out their "duties".
Today there are carrying out their duties on an American couple.
Tomorrow, it may be your non-Muslim friend in Alor Star.
And coming soon, they'll be knocking at your door in KL.
Carrying out their "duties".

It's just a matter of time, and we would be allowing this to happen if we do not make our voices heard.

for further reading
Pastor Martin Niemöller
First they came...

Langkawi Incident

Couple in khalwat raid may drop second home plan
Kedah Religious Dept: Officers followed procedures during raid
Religious department defends khalwat raid on Americans
Stop moral policing, say Christians
Tourism Ministry officers told to probe khalwat raid
MM Musing


Anonymous said...

Kudos for Lulu to bring up the subject of "duty" and the famous quote/poem regarding it.

For very long now, "duty" has been implicitly flaunted/singularly promoted like an absolutely fail-safe virtue by the shallow self-serving philosophy of Bolehland and its unthinking denizens. It's too tempting an excuse and fall-back refuge for any excesses and outrages that go with it.

At the Trial at Nuremberg after the end of WW2, the German Wehrmacht/SS privates, corporals and sargeants naturally claimed they were following orders as a 'duty' too for all wartime atrocities.

"Duty" is a dirty word when thus corrupted, much like 'patriotism' which has been famously described as the last refuge of scoundrels.

Alas, a shallow worldview with mainly unthinking denizens makes for a backward and credulous society. A mental state that carries over to the real world's situation of global competition as well.

All starts with thinking inside a coccoon only....and any thinking outside that being frowned upon.


Maverick SM said...

Soon, there will be no tourist in Langkawi.

Robin Goodfellow said...

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. ~ Benjamin Franklin

lucia said...

"The only problem here is that they mishandled the couple/"

isn't that an admission of doing something wrong? and yet the insisted they were just doing their job. how contracdictory.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, Lucia, "Duty" is used here as an excuse and refuge from censure and blame. How backward can some ppl be but then they're a product of a conformistic conditioning that only allows prescribed thinking.....within a hole-ly coccoon.


MaoBi said...

What irks me is that this is treated as a tourist issues as in "we are chasing aaway the money of people with white skin" as opposed to a human rights issue as in "we should not pound on peoples door at 2AM" or "we should believe it when people tell us they are not Muslims".

Since they want to make it a tourist issue, bloggers need to start highlighting that this is what could happen to tourists coming to Malaysia. Reach out to your foreign readership and make the authorities sit up and take notice when the tourism dollars dry up

Anonymous said...

witso is very witty