Thursday 23 June 2016

A Brexiteer

A lot of arguments and discussions have been going on in the UK in the past few weeks about leaving or remaining in the EU.  Much scaremongering and selective facts and figures have been put forward to (supposedly) guide the voter in making a decision.

The most ferocious debate concerns the issue of immigration.  The argument has been over-simplified with the Leave people being tagged as racists and bigots by the Remain campaign, whose voices strongly represent the liberal urban elites - especially in and around London.

Daily Mail - DM Comment  21 June 2016

Frank Field - The Guardian 14 June 2016

Daily Mail DM Comment 21 June 2016

Until 2004 when East Europeans joined the EU, there was no large scale migration to Britain.  There are now 3.3 million EU nationals living in Britain - up by 2 Million since 2003.  Unlike migrants from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and parts of Africa, they do not have to go through the hurdles of an English language test, or a UK citizenship test.  As soon as they enter Britain they are granted special privileges - and eventually all the rights of a British national - because they are members of the EU.  Unlike other non-EU migrants, their numbers cannot be restricted as UK as a member of the EU are bound by European treaties and European law.


In comparison, I reckon Sabah and Sarawak got a better deal when they joined Malaysia.   For instance Peninsular Malaysians need a work permit to work in East Malaysia and they are also restricted from  buying land in these two states.


If I am in Leicester right now, I would vote for LEAVE.  My reasons are very personal because of my  empathy and concern for the plight of my work mates, my  working class friends.

These mates of mine and all the other places I worked at are the ones who pay the price of the EU's "Freedom of Movement" i.e the right to migrate within the EU to whereever the grass is greener.  I  know the problems they are facing: unemployment , short term contracts, reduced benefits, school place for their kids, and registration at Doctors' Surgeries.

The Unions who are supposed to represent them have done nowt and somehow managed to put their backsides on two stools - Leave and Remain!!

 Daily Mail - by Ian Dury & James Slack, 20 June 2016

Paul Mason - The Guardian 20 June 2016

These are the 'native' population that have been thrown on the scrap heap in the name of globalisation and free-market economics practised by their neo-liberal elites in both the Labour and Conservative Parties

Paul Mason - The Guardian 20 June 2016

If their anger is not placated the rise of more right-wing extremists in Britain is inevitable.

The other consequence of this anti-immigration mood is the effect on those refugees who are desperately and justifiably in need of support, of the most basic of security.    In comparison to such people, the relatively secure East Europeans, tripping around looking for greener pastures, are very privileged people indeed.

Mondoweiss - 9 Sept 2015

Must Read:

I cannot help but observe the uncanny similarity of 'class politics' in Britain and here in Malaysia - of the gaping fissure between the luvvie elite in the urban centres and the hoi polloi poorer working class.  In Malaysia it's the gap between the city centres like KL and Penang and the rural/smaller towns.  In Britain there is the North-South divide with the well-heeled 'salariat' ensconced in the South.

This piece by Umar Mukhtar makes my point .....


...... especially:

Umar Mukhtar - reference as above

Umar Mukhtar - reference as above

Alas, in Britain, for my working class mates; and in Malaysia for friends like Osman and Aishah - our local road sweepers from Kampung Ayer Kuning, near Kampar - they shall for ever be the mentimum tossed and scraped by the durian.

I shall await with trepidation the results of the Referendum.

Thursday 16 June 2016

Sunday School teachers, entertainers, celebrities, politicians, Methodist ministers, Catholic priests - fathers & stepfathers, uncles, teachers ........

When  news of Huckle's litany of child abuse got to Malaysia two weeks ago, I recalled this nursery rhyme I learned in Primary One.

One, two buckle my shoe,
Three, four, shut the door,
Five, six, pick up sticks.
Seven, eight. lay them straight.
Nine, ten, a big fat hen.

With Richard Huckle in mind this is my revised version

Nursery rhyme for a Sunday School Teacher

One, two, unbuckle my shoe.
Three, four, (he) shuts the door.
Five, six, he made me sick.
Seven, eight, I'm ridden with self-hate,
Nine, ten, a big, evil man.

Here's one victim's recall of the abuse she suffered - cited in a Report on Child Abuse in the Methodist Church in Britain,

I have learned that it is impossible to recover from sexual abuse when no one recognises the seriousness of it.  My church did not want a scandal, my parents did not want a scandal.  I was left to feel worthless and devalued, while the man was left to get on with his life and, for all I know, repeat the crime with someone else."  


As for Huckle, after admitting to 71 offences of abuse against children between the ages of 6 months to 12 years from 2006 to 2014, an English Court sentenced him to 22 life sentences - to be served for at least 25 years. It's mind-boggling for any lay person to figure out "22 life sentences" when this pervert has got only one life.  What and whose purpose does this  punishment serve?

Penitent ??  Or grateful and relieved?  

As for his victims and their families, they face a life sentence too for what they suffered, knowing that by 2041, when Huckle is just 55, he will be set loose on society.

Only this time, I hope the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), the NCA (National Crime Agency) and the might of the British Judiciary will guarantee that Huckle remains in his motherland and keep him away from the poorer people of the world - whether they are Christians or not!

This predator has a record of writing and admitting :

1.  " Impoverished kids are definitely much more easier to seduce than middle class western kids."   (Mail Online 2 June 2016)   

2,  "As long as I keep a broad number of contacts amongst the poorer people I know, I'm sure some would be inclined for someone of 'high status' such as myself to be caring for their kids for long or short term."    (BuzzFeed 2 June 2016)

      Note: 'high status' means white and westerner.

In Malaysia, much outrage was expressed by both authorities and NGOs - as well it should be.


Mail Online 2 June

As for the NCA - they were using "legislation that allows UK nationals to be prosecuted in the UK for offences committed overseas."  One cannot help but realise that this seemingly decent piece of legislation has a double edged sword : one to ensure punishment of British miscreants abroad, the other is to protect their criminals from any 'alien' (?) or 'barbaric'(?) justice system. - punishments like death sentences are anathema to the liberal western system of justice,  Maybe that is why Huckle looked relieved and held his hands in prayer after sentencing at the Old Bailey.

An example of responses from Malaysia's NGOs :

Certainly after this case, Malaysia needs not only to enforce a stronger protection of children, harsh punishment for the perpetrators, but also more transnational cooperation in nabbing and prosecuting the paedophiles.

But wait a moment.   Britain hardly has a creditable record of protecting their children either.

1. There's the much loved entertainer Sir Jimmy Savile.

From humble DJ to Lord of the Realm

Top of the Paedophile Parade.

Who?  Me??

2.  Australia's entertainer-export to Britain and the Commonwealth.

This was no kangaroo court.

How did he get away with 33 years of sexual offences?

3. Lord  Greville Janner - a scion of Leicester society

That police were pressured by politicians - you mean this is possible in  a non-banana republic/state like Great Britain?

4.  Glam rocker Gary Glitter.

All that glitters is not gold.

5.  Then there are institutions like Children's Homes and the long-running involvement of the Church in child abuse.  The Catholic Church especially has a long history of covering up for the perpetrators while the victims are shunted aside.  Here's just one example from the US, but the revelations go further afield to many other parts of the world.

6.  Just last year the Methodist Church made an apology to the 2,000 cases of physical and sexual abuse within the institution  dating from the 1950s.   "The children's charity National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children  (NSPCC) described it as a horrifying catalogue of abuse."

Sorry is no cure!

7.  Politicians and Paedophilia

     i) Dolphin Square

Dolphin Square

          ii) Elm House

Read this if you have the stomach for it.

And listen to Richard Kerr - the victim's pain.

We in Malaysia have a lot to learn about dealing with sexual and child abuse, about the enactment of laws to protect the child and punish the perpetrators, about counselling and helping the victims and their families.    BUT ....  we also need to turn to the values and mores of our own culture before taking on wholesale the methods and ethos of countries like Britain.

A few years ago, when Gary Glitter was exposed as a paedophile who had set up in Cambodia to ravage children, with impunity it seemed, there were many in Malaysia (including myself) who breathed a sigh of relief: no, it could never happen in Malaysia.

But now it has.  What lessons shall we learn from this awful milestone?


Postscript:  Listening to Richard Kerr brings back distressing memories of my failure as a teacher, for turning my back on a cry for help.

Today, she would be almost the same age as Richard Kerr.  I dearly hope she survived
 her pain.

My one massive failing as a teacher.

But I do feel a sense of warmth when, many years ago, I demonstrated my support and care for one of my senior boys - who had been abused by his own father - when he was diagnosed with VD.  The teachers gossiped about him, told each other tales of how to keep their distance away from him in class.

During my geography lesson, I went to his desk and demonstrated how to measure the length of a river with a string on his textbook - Bunnett's Kajian Peta.  I shall never forget the happy smile he gave me.  He was eventually cleared of his blight and he must be a grandfather by now.