Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Of Real Compassion.

From Jeff's post.

There are times when I want to cry. There are times when I want to scream in anger and hate. There are times when I don't just not want to play the game any more, but to also smash the board.

I've heard, over the years, about how compassionate and charitable our nation is. We've all heard the slogans and seen the striving — the talk about how helping others is a noble, kind, thing, and that charity and compassion separates us from animals richer nations.

But, apart from the expansive and magnamonious gestures we make in terms of charity donations and hunger-fests, I don't see a whole lot of compassion in ourselves. Not even in me.

We can blather on about how children in Darfur and our poor need our help and kindness, and yet we can ignore this until it was too late? And then, just after she's gone through this hell, we want to punish her some more?

Why? She's suffered pain and shame. She was so afraid, she hid the facts from everyone around her. You know why she hid from you — she knew what you'd do to her if you found out. She knew you wouldn't offer any help in making this all right again, or repairing what harm that's been done. She knew that if she confessed to what she had done, you'd beat her and deride her for being ‘immoral’.

She's given fucking birth. Alone. With no one to hold her hand, to support her, to lead her through a difficult, painful and terrible ordeal. So, after all this, you're going to punish her by expelling her from university, in what would curse her into a position where she would not be able to support her baby?

I know you. I've known you all my life.

Why not go all the way? Why not take away her child, give it to the Welfare Department? Why not ostracize her, publish her name in public, parade her face for all to see, shame her as an example for others? Why not put her in jail?

Why don't you just be merciful and kill her instead?

It'd save you the damn money and effort.

Blogger Pick Yin said...

i should know what to say to this, i should know very well.

but let's face it.. the poor and very unlucky girl was just too afraid to ask for help. and rightly so, look what happens now even after she almost lost her life trying to hide from some judgemental bastards!

excuse my language.. * breathe in, breathe out *

4:08 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

*hugs Pick Yin*

Don't worry about it.

4:22 PM  
Blogger meiteoh said...

I wanted to post a comment on Jeff's blog and here but since I'm too lazy to register (:P), I'm going to leave it here.

We are a weird society. We scream hell and fury at the one who commits pre-marital sex, at the woman who births a child out of wedlock in a hostel/toilet/shed, at the girl who has an illegal abortion because she is too young to have kids or get married...we scream hell and fury and scorn...

And yet, we don't want to educate our people.

We don't want to tell them to practice safe sex ie. use condoms or go on the pill (Do you know how many kids think withdrawal method is safe? Do you know that the National Board of Family and etc actually have a pamphlet that says calculating your fertility period is a reliable method for safe sex WHEN IT IS NOT? I know, I can't believe it myself)...

We don't want to help the people who have committed these acts of fury, scorn and disgrace. We don't want to give them opportunities to explain, to repent, to learn. We don't want to open our hands and say "It is okay. Learn from your errors and become a better person."

Instead, we are happy pointing the finger and yelling "HARAM! DOSA!" without thinking that we were once like her too...with our dirty little secrets, without own sins and guilty doings.

We want to shame these people so much that they are willing to kill themselves all for what? Honour which is dictated by another flawed human being. As a woman, I emphatisize with her. This is not how I would like to have my babies - alone, scared shitless, in pain, and basically afraid of the world and resorting to natural instinct to protect myself first and not my child. It is no woman's dream. And yet it happens all the time.

I wish we would stop crying foul and scorn over matters like this and find out WHY this is happening in the first place and what we can do to change.

Honestly, we are not a compassionate country. We are not a charitable nation. At least not where it counts the most.

4:33 PM  
Blogger meiteoh said...

And during Ramadhan too. How shameful.

4:37 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

And you know the guy who's supposed to decide the fate of her academic career? Coming back on Umrah on October 28th.

The unkind, uncharitable part of me keeps thinking “all piety, no compassion”. Is this what we've been reduced to?

5:43 PM  
Blogger hyelbaine said...

Well said bro, i couldn't agree more with your entire post. People make mistakes, those who pass judgement should look at themselves as they too have err'ed in the past. Everyone deserves a second chance so why not her?

Cheers!!! :D

7:52 PM  
Blogger tomatoinc said...

i read the news with disguise too, and just written a blog about it. Sometimes you just don't know how the authorities make up their fucking mind right? Why would they kick her out now? to protect the image of the uni? What image? To show that pre-marital sex is not tolerated, hence fishing some Pas votes? Fuck yea, tell that to their daughters and sons. it's stupid and real stupid to have professors and lecturers whose minds are as shallow as shit.

Ps: sorry for the 'french above'

1:47 AM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

It's a very swear-friendly blog. Swear away.

Just don't start using racial epithets. That'll bring the ISA down on you like a tonne of bricks.

Zionist ones.

1:13 PM  
Blogger meiteoh said...

*ugh* I'm so irritated with comments on Jeff's blog which commented on how women need to make better judgements. Haven't people ever heard of making mistakes? Apparently not. I suppose they forget that once upon a time, they made the wrong choice (thus a bad decision) and screwed up.

Geez...why can't people stop looking at the small object in front of them like the girl and look at the bigger picture of what is happening in our society? Pregnancies out of wedlock, fear out of retribution, lack of sex education...

For crying out loud, why are people so f***ing short-sighted?

8:27 PM  
Blogger Najah said...

Before everyone gets excited, I'd like to point out a few things:

1. That newspapers tend to sensationalise a lot of things (remember the Jeff Ooi episode?)

2. That the guy with the LOA (level of authority) is in fact at umrah and has no idea what's going on (why link the fact he's doing his umrah with the issue at hand?). If we want to find someone to wag our fingers and tongues at, it should be the guy who talked to the press on behalf of the administration. Most of us who have had experience with the press would know that it IS a daunting experience and more often than not, things sound worse than it actually is.

3. Ramadhan or not - there were many parties who were at fault:

- We have to admit that the student is a full-grown adult. She has to take some responsibility and I can't believe that she would just leave her baby in a box under a pile of clothes. Yes, panic does drive one to do pretty stupid things, but she must have wanted the child to have carried it the full term, why jeopardise it by leaving the baby on its own? And she's a medical student... didn't she know the danger she put herself and her baby through?

- Her parents. What kind of relationship could they have had for them not to notice their daughter's pregnancy. She is studying locally - it's not as if she was in Russia or something, and a pregnancy is a very hard thing to conceal, if not the obvious bulge, the morning sickness and a host of other symptoms as it is, is already too hard to ignore.

- Ditto for her friends. Where were they? I'm sure she had study groups, collegemates, someone who would've noticed something. After all, she was staying on campus.

Not that I'm defending the administration, but technically, we don't know if they were pressured by the press to say something, anything, when they weren't prepared to give an answer. This is precisely the reason why corporate comms ppl are so valuable.

I commend the reaction of Datuk Shahrizat, but I would also caution all the fingerpointing - especially the ones who tend to focus on university administration. Although we would LIKE them to be more caring, it's like blaming teachers when students develop disciplinary problems - everyone else too, including the student, has responsibility, and that includes parents, relatives, and friends... people who should have much closer ties to the student.

12:28 AM  
Blogger meiteoh said...

Must agree with Najah on the parent and friend bit.

Some in Jeff's blog have asked one - I feel - important question: "where is daddy in all of this?" Should he too be responsible?

9:11 AM  
Blogger Zsarina said...

I think Najah posted some valid comments. I was about to say as well that the fellow doing the Umrah is probably clueless as to what is going on.

The deed is done, shall we say. And what the authorities need to do now is to consider the options available to the Mother and the Child. In my view, expelling the girl is not a sensible course to take. I am very sure she feels hellish enough about the whole thing (carrying the baby and trying to keep it a secret all the time must have been one trying period), without scorn being heaped on.

7:34 PM  
Blogger RG said...

the 'daddy' were not even being mentioned ones in the local papers. where's him right this very momment?

enjoying his 'teh tarik' perhaps.

1:13 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home