Sunday, February 05, 2006

Unshave Me Bald?

Lost hair in a bet

There is nothing like instances to grow hair on a bald-head argument. The words of Mark Twain echoes through my mind. The latest episode of the Police-Citizen epic was this. 1 man with a coffee shop, 10 men with mahjong : 11 men shaved bald. The whole story was as simple as this. It wasn't even one month away after the nude-squat issue was barely settled and here comes another drama. My mind is overflowing with words to describe the police force but "out of control", I would say, are the best.

Where is freedom? Where is democracy? What crime did they commit, these 11 men? What crime did they commit, deserving such humiliation? A simple game of mahjong? Alleged gambling? Ridiculous. Absurd. One could never fully fathom the mind of the police force. But yet, as the Bible says, quoting from Luke 7:35, "But wisdom is justified of all her children." True wisdom shows itself by its works; folly is never found in the wise man’s way, any more than wisdom is in the path of a fool.

These 11 men were not completely innocent. But neither were they guilty in such a way as to deserve such treatment. Why did criminals, who committed even more serious offences, not receive a hair cut, what more to say, shaved bald? Let's say that these 11 men were indeed gambling. Then, and only then that they are guilty of a crime. But what if they were not even gambling? What if they were just having a mere game of mahjong to blend into the Chinese New Year mood? Both options leave no room for the police to justify their actions. Guilty or not, they never deserved such treatment. They were no murderers. They were no rapists. They were no dogs to begin with.

One of the most outrageous thing that I found was this. The police were unrepentant. They were not even sorry for their actions. They claimed that shaving heads was a law and was necessary. This is no different than a murderer who killed someone and then claimed that he has to do it as it was necessary. A game of mahjong is simply a tradition. It's simply a game, to meet up with friends during the Chinese New Year festive season, and to sum it up, it's simply for fellowship. Now, everyone would be afraid to touch mahjong every Chinese New Year. Everyone would be afraid to use chips to play mahjong. Everyone would be afraid to play mahjong even without chips. Think of the possible consequences of this incident. Think of the worst case scenario. This could cause a tension between races. Just one foolish act by the police and the many years of building and bonding of relationship between races could be destroyed. The Chinese would accuse the government of being unfair and unjust. They would think, why were the Malays not caught for playing with fire-crackers during Hari Raya? Why were the Indians not fined for dirtying the streets during Thaipussam? As simple an incident as this may result in a tragedy similar to the one in 13 May 1969. Maybe worse.

We know that the government has been fair all the while. Still, this incident definitely brought a certain impact upon everyone (but of course not as serious as what I said). Citizens would have a different view about the police force now (it's not like we do not have one before). A view, maybe, of how abusive is the police force. The only thing we as citizens can do is to forgive. Christian or not, forgiving is no harm to anybody. The police should be granted another chance. We should not put the final nail in the coffin just yet. Let us wait for the change, the improvement that we hope to see. Let us pray that the nail would never need to be hammered in, or heads need to be shaved again.

1 comment:

The Hedonese said...

Where is the justice, man?
Anwar also never botak...