Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Squatgate Lanka Quagmire

In my previous posting Squatgate Wayang Kulit, a friend asked me whether I had selected that title to allude to a script laid out for the investigation. Bloody cheeky of him!

Firstly, I was rather shocked by the extremely narrow and limited terms of reference for the Commission, particularly the first three. It tells us that the government wasn’t really serious about getting to the root of the disgraceful series of alleged police abuses, with some cases even related to death in police custody.

Secondly, I was extremely disappointed with the Commission in its refusal to accept additional and related submissions that could well be easily embraced by the fourth term of reference. The Commission gave the impression it just didn’t want anything beyond establishing the victim was not a Chinese national, and that ear squatting in the nude was an acceptable form of police physical ‘interrogation’, employed as a legitimate means to see whether drugs or weapons are hidden in body crevices.

Thirdly, to further confirm my disappointment with the Commission’s performance, ... here at this stage ... my friend intruded into my unhappy thoughts and suggested the script obviously called for the spiritual validation of the police punishment, and the due religious expert was then brought to give a spiritual OK to the unacceptable and shameful exercise.

Bloody KPC (busybody) - I reminded my pal sternly this is my posting and he's not to interrupt me as I put my troubled thoughts to pen! Carrying on ...

Fourthly, a doctor was also recruited to give the medical justification to the unjustifiable ear holding component of the naked squat. In my letter to Malaysiakini I had said in no uncertain terms what I thought of the doctor’s disgraceful explanation, by attributing a benefit (of holding the ears) that was totally opposite to its real effect.

Today, my sarcastic criticism of the doctor, also in an earlier posting has been vindicated further by another Malaysiakini reader who wrote in to lambaste the doctor’s professional credibility.

The anonymous writer who claimed to be a doctor him or herself went into great medical details, some of it not for delicate ears, to show that the medical witness to the Inquiry, Dr Zainab Shamsuddin had been wrong in her expert testimony. The writer of the letter titled Who says ear squats can dislodge hidden stuff? wrote:

“I am greatly concerned with the testimony given by Dr Zainab Shamsuddin as having been quoted by deputy public prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim during the hearings of the commission of inquiry into the nude ear-squats scandal."

"Zainab was quoted to have testified that the act of squatting was capable of dislodging any hidden foreign objects inside body orifices. As a medical doctor, I am shocked by the statement and wonder whether it was truly from a medical expert.”

Let’s see whether Dr Zainab has the guts to reply to that criticism of her professional competency. But perhaps the poor dear was deliberately misquoted, because the writer continued rather graciously:

“I really doubt the accuracy of Zainab’s testimony or it might have been intentionally misquoted due to political reasons.”

At least Dr Zainab must now come out to deny those medical explanations attributed to her, or respond to the writer’s criticism. I won’t require her to re-explain the ear pulling part because as I mentioned, every school student, including those august members of the Commission (being schoolboys themselves once) would know the given explanation, whether by her or mis-attributed, was plain horseshit.

The writer in damning the Commission for being obscenely hasty in concluding the inquiry, stated succinctly:

“I really think that their testimonies’ of some of the commission’s witnesses were more political than professional.”

Well, according to the wayang kulit script, Ravana called Mareecha up and said he wanted to abduct the truth … eh sorry I mean … Sita.

Mareecha advised Ravana: "To abduct Sita is a bad idea. Forget it."

But Ravana was insistent. "If you do not listen to me, your life is finished," he threatened Mareecha. (sounds familiar?).

What next?

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