MALAYSIA’S APEC/ASEAN LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT URGED NOT TO GIVE SPECIAL TREATMENT TO WHITE FOREIGNERS WHO BREAK LOCAL LAWS!
“I am advising dear friend, the Malaysian Home Minister and deputy Prime Minister that this must change in view recent events!
Respect should be earned and there is no room of “white supremacy traits here!” Dr Jacob George
In 2015, four tourists who posed naked on a mountain in Malaysia have been given jail terms and fined.
Briton Eleanor Hawkins, Canadians Lindsey and Danielle Peterson, and Dutchman Dylan Snel admitted causing a public disturbance.
The group was blamed for a magnitude 5.9 earthquake after stripping on Mount Kinabalu, which is considered sacred.
They were jailed for three days, but their sentences were back-dated to reflect time already served.
Inexplicably, a judge at Kota Kinabalu Magistrates’ Court said the four had shown remorse and ordered the jail terms to run from 9 June, meaning the group was free to leave.
However, he also fined each defendant 5,000 Malaysian ringgit (£860/$1,330).
The tourists were escorted to the court house for their own safety by high powered security personnel in view the public outrage caused by these foreigners!
Then the BBC’s Jennifer Pak, who was in court, was reported to have stated then that she understood the group were now waiting to pay their fines before being deported.
Hawkins’ lawyer then, one Ronny Cham said the 23-year-old, from Draycott in Derbyshire, would be freed from police custody later once the appropriate documentation were done.
She would then fly home to the UK.
Her father Timothy Hawkins is reported to have said that the sentence was “appropriate and fair” but it appeared she had been “treated pretty badly” amid the media scrum outside court.
He is reported to have said further that “She’s obviously very traumatized,”
“Eleanor knows what she did was wrong and disrespectful and she is deeply sorry for any offense she has caused to the Malaysian people” he added.
What do the Malaysian papers say?
Foreign coverage of the story has been criticized in the Malaysian press.
Several local newspapers accused British tabloids of exaggerating reports that the tourists were arrested for causing the quake, rather than the actual charge of public indecency.
The Sabah-based Daily Express accused the papers of running “sensational” headlines, while the country’s most popular English-language paper, The Star, said reports (pictured) alleging Hawkins and the others were arrested for angering mountain gods “couldn’t be further from the truth”.
Tourism minister, Masidi Manjun, said their acts would have merited punishment for breaking local laws and norms whether or not the earthquake took place.
Mr Masidi, who comes from the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, was also quoted in the Malay Mail as saying there had been some “fact-twisting” by foreign media.
“I don’t know whether this is on purpose just to ridicule us, or their failure to appreciate our local traditions and customs,” he said.
Eleanor Hawkins and her co-accused covered their faces as they arrived at Kota Kinabalu Magistrates’ Court and that action speaks for itself!
Eleanor Hawkins had previously admitted the stunt was “stupid and disrespectful”
And all admitted a charge of “committing an obscene act in public”.
My learned friend’s Malaysian prosecutors went on record that the four tourists, along with six others, climbed the peak to enjoy the sunrise on 30 May and then challenged each other to take off their clothes.
Dutch national Dylan Thomas Snel, 23, and Canadian siblings Lindsey, 23, and Danielle Peterson, 22, have all pleaded guilty!
Their lawyer said they had simply ignored pleas not to remove their clothes, and had not verbally abused the guide.
In mitigation, solicitors representing all four defendants, said they were ignorant of local customs and “their act had brought shame and ridicule upon themselves and their respective countries”.
He asked the judge to not make an example of them, saying the intense international media coverage had traumatized them enough.
The prosecution on the other hand, argued the public interest was central to the case and, according to Malaysian law, anyone committing an “obscene act” which causes annoyance in a public place should be jailed for up to three months.
Many Malaysians had been outraged by the group’s behavior, and the manner the country’s laws were being ridiculed in foreign media and write-ups!
They conveniently forgot that Malaysia is not a banana republic, we too have laws.
They forget that there was a lot of public anger still against the tourists because many of them believe Mount Kinabalu is a sacred spot where their souls go to rest when they die!
And that was the spot these foreigners are alleged to have stripped on, urinated – something that many locals say is disrespectful!
And in the midst of this ugly event an earthquake struck killing 18 people, including children, and leaving hundreds more stranded.
The response of fear among the local extremely pious and religious people was obvious!
Police were still seeking five other suspects but some were thought to have already left Sabah.
If this incident did not give enough exposure to the country’s sensitivities this year 2016, a staffer for an Australian government minister Christopher Pyne is reportedly among nine Australian men arrested in Malaysia after stripping during a Formula 1 Grand Prix race to reveal underwear bearing a Malaysia-flag print.
Jack Walker, Pyne’s adviser on defense innovation, was one of the men pictured removing their clothes at the end of the grand prix, won by Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
The spectators were arrested around the time the race ended at the Sepang International Circuit and were being investigated for “intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace” and public indecency.
Photos of the men flaunting the country’s national colors went viral in Malaysia after the race, provoking angry comments from some social media users who accused them of insulting the country.
These stupid and idiotic Australians deserved to be locked up, investigated and taken action against!
A jail term and fine would be the right response!
They were guests in our country but showed a huge lack of respect to us as Malaysians; this is stupid behavior from foreigners who have no sense of cultural sensitivity and respect!
They racially profile and criminalize us – Asians – when we visit their countries on the onset by asking insensitive and outrageous questions and if we enquire further, they call their supervisors on us, even for a simple query on GST protocols, or threaten prosecution as can be seen by the signage displayed openly at entry counters, but in comparison we treat them even the low lives likes these fools, who broke our laws with kindness, respect, dignity and decorum, that they spend no time in our jails but are deported all because of a “government to government backroom response?”
Now there are also TV programs in their countries, on those caught breaking their laws and it is time, we did the same!
I am advising dear friend, the Malaysian Home Minister and deputy Prime Minister (above) that this must change in view recent events!
Respect should be earned and there is no room of “white supremacy traits here!”
We welcome tourists but by the same standards and guidelines that they too enforce on visitors to their countries!
And there should be jail terms too for those who break our laws and we should not allow their government to initiate “backroom negotiations” to play down the offense and get these idiots and morons deported!
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia or their counterparts in Britain and other countries should take cognizance of this immediately!