Yesterday, in my posting Facts, Fallacy, Fabrication, Fornication, F-up! I asserted that kissing & hugging were expressions of affection, and asked where was the indecency that the federal court judge claimed as justification to charge the young Chinese Malaysian couple.
Today in Malaysiakini Bar Council chairperson Yeo Yang Poh asked the same KTemoc-ish question.
Yeo said it’s wrong for the authority to invoke a law purporting to regulate decency in a way that in fact a major segment of Malaysians find unreasonable and ridiculous. Absolutely!
Yeo said: “Showing affection by holding hands, hugging and kissing is already common in our cinemas and television.”
And may KTemoc say too, in our society for, as far as I know, the last 30 years or so.
Yeo asked where was the crime when the couple did not threaten society though some may find their action inappropriate.
He added that most people would understand what decency is without the need of a law to spell it out. Besides, questions of morality or decency can often become a subjective issue.
Yeo stated “This is surely insufficient reason to criminalise such conduct. Many Malaysians do not want to be hypocritical and see a person taken to penal task for something that we know in our hearts is well within the permissible limits of conduct in the 21st century.”
Apart from hypocrisy, the root cause that Yeo obviously didn’t spell out is that it’s a form of proselytization by the authorities.
First, there was such a relatively new law based on perceived Islamic values but born out of the internecine war between UMNO and PAS.
Second, 2 city hall officers made a subjective assessment that the couple were behaving indecently, where I would like to question the training they received, and also examine more closely the counter-accusation that they were extorting from the couple with the threat to book them for indecent behaviour.
Third and the most disappointing of all, a federal court judge based his verdict on his personal sense of morality which most Malaysians today do not share. His values are not our values. There are millions of Malaysians who do not consider kissing and hugging in a park indecent at all.