Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dedicated to the memory of William Yau Zhen Zhong...

On 25 January 2013 the badly decomposed body of a child was found floating near a jetty in Klang. It has since been identified by the boy's parents as William. At this point nobody knows how young William met such an unfortunate end. Was he kidnapped, abused and murdered?  Or could it have been a freak accident, as police have suggested, with the kid falling into a monsoon drain and getting swept 30km down the Klang River? We may never know what befell William Yau. However, the massive outpouring of public concern, followed by profound and collective grief upon hearing the terrible news, shows that all humans share the same love for their offspring... and that when any child goes missing, all parents feel the same pangs of acute anxiety...

Nurin Jazlin Jazimin was only eight when she went missing on the night of August 20th, 2007. Twenty-six days later a young girl's naked body was found stuffed into a gym bag and dumped outside a shophouse. DNA tests indicated that the dead child was indeed Nurin. The cruel, perverted manner in which the child was molested and killed traumatized the entire nation. Apparently, Nurin's abductors had violated her with such vicious force, the poor child suffered internal hemorrhage from a ruptured rectum and succumbed to bacterial infection.

To date, Nurin's abductors and murderers have yet to be apprehended and brought to justice. Four men and a woman were picked up, questioned and subsequently released for lack of evidence linking them to the hideous crime. Then a 23-year-old Indonesian woman was arrested in Nilai, whereupon she swallowed a SIM card. She was admitted to the Universiti Malaya Medical Center where she refused to eat for days, but nurses finally managed to get her to purge the evidence. We'll never know what the Indonesian woman was trying to conceal because any data on the SIM card she swallowed proved unretrievable after prolonged immersion in her gastric juices. In any case I have found no follow-up reports on the results of the police investigation. What happened to the SIM-card-swallowing woman? Who was she anyway?

It would appear there are a lot of dark, dire secrets and unsolved murders in Malaysia - perhaps because the trail sometimes leads where it isn't supposed to go.

Like everybody else, I was deeply troubled by reports of Nurin's disappearance and the nightmarish manner in which she was murdered. And, sadly, Nurin just happens to be the most sensational case in recent years of child abduction, rape and murder - perhaps because she looked so utterly adorable. Everybody saw in Nurin a vision of their own precious and beloved child. To me, Nurin was the perfect symbol of the whole country - a beautiful, innocent soul with infinite potential, embodying all the exotic charm and irresistible allure of the Orient, and carrying the great hope in all our hearts for a wonderfully bright and joyful future.

Nurin was Malaysia's poster child, the fragrant flower of a dozen family trees and five hundred generations of fortuitous miscegenation. Only good things were supposed to happen to Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, not a fate so macabre you wouldn't wish it upon your worst enemy's children.

So who killed Nurin?

Nurin's dad, Jazimin Abdul Jalil, buries another dream; meanwhile, criticized for his incompetence, Police Inspector-General Musa Hassan threatens to charge Nurin's parents with "negligence."

It was the distillation of all the unresolved anger, moral debility, hypocrisy, unmitigated greed, powerlust, resentment, disillusionment, repressed and thwarted sexuality in our collective unconscious. The accumulated psychosis of century upon century of unexpressed hostility against the order of the day. All the behavioral shortcomings of megalomaniacal monarchs and their willing minions; every cover-up of every transgression that has ever been perpetrated against the helpless, powerless, and the vulnerable. Every disrespectful act ever directed against the Sacred Feminine by a misogynist patriarchy, more concerned about maintaining its public image than with correcting its private misdemeanors. Every untruth ever uttered by a politician, every erotic indiscretion denied or glossed over, every malicious thought harbored in the minds of those that misgovern, every instance of hubristic and ruthless power abuse by control freaks in high office who were granted the authority to inspire and lead - but instead misused their status to exploit, enslave and disenfranchise.

DEAD OR MISSING, PRESUMED DEAD: what's the link between sexual repression and child murder-rape?

Indeed, it was all the sins of all the Fathers visited upon one excruciatingly adorable child. And the Mothers, too, for silently abetting and conniving with, over so many centuries, this systematic rape of innocence and beauty and truth.

Every one of us is guilty of murdering Nurin who keeps quiet and shrugs whenever an unjust law is legislated into being by myopic, pusillanimous, self-serving parliamentarians - laws like the Internal Security and Police Acts that allow the State to arrest, torture and detain political dissenters without habeas corpus and forcibly disperse peaceful public gatherings.

Censorship policies that favor violence over eroticism: wherein it is permitted to view humans being punched, kicked, knifed, shot and blown to smithereens - but scenes of tender passion like lovers kissing and harmless amorous acts expressing affection are strictly forbidden, labeled "immoral" or "sinful" by religious hypocrites.

In a nation where a grown man or woman can be accused, publicly humiliated, subject to a mock trial and sentenced to nine years' jail for allegedly indulging in consensual anal or oral sex - but fabricators of evidence with evil and malicious intent are promoted to top positions in government where they are given the power of life or death over others - there is little chance of survival for the beauty, truth, and innocence that Nurin symbolized.

Here we are, shedding crocodile tears for victims of our own moral apathy - whether they be abductable 8-year-old nymphettes or street-savvy 22-year-old urban guerrillas with suspected links to criminal syndicates - while the most corrupt, spendthrift and murderously vindictive woman in the country preens herself before a gilded mirror in preparation for her debauched spouse's anticipated rise to the highest position in the land...

Just knowing that millions (perhaps even billions) of ringgit have been squandered to prop up this grotesque travesty of human decency, truth and justice makes me shudder. And whenever I hear people robotically sing the praises of our "great" former leader, Dr Mahathir - the man who gave us Putrajaya, the Petronas Twin Towers, and massive delusions of grandeur, in exchange for the nation's soul - I make it a point to take a dozen deep breaths... access my genetic archives... reclaim my divine heritage... and declare to the entire cosmos...


[First published 3 February 2009]