Loyal Followers

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Making An Ass of the Law


Mr Brownlow: “In the eyes of the law, you are the more guilty of the two, for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction.”

Mr Bumble: "If the law supposes that ... the law is a [sic] ass - a [sic] idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience."

The above is of course the oft-repeated scene from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Dickens has of course frequently been credited with the phrase “the law is a (sic) ass” although purists argue that the phrase was earlier published by George Chapman in 1654 in his play, “Revenge for Honour.”

Be that as it may, many of us (including lawyers) do believe in the accuracy of the phrase. Well, they are not to blame, really. Reading some of the laws passed and decisions made by the Courts around the world lend credence to the phrase. However, allow me to remind you that laws are made and interpreted by people.

Being so, it is not the law which is the ass.

Laws are passed for certain specific reasons and functions. They are supposed to reflect the society’s preference for or abhorrence of certain things or acts. We criminalise murder or rape, for example, because we, as a society, regard them as unacceptable towards our wellbeing as a society. However, when such good laws are given an interpretation or application which is bereft of rationality, than the law becomes an ass. Or rather, the law has been rendered an ass.

Quite often too, bad laws and rules are passed by the very people in whom we entrust the duty to regulate. In this case, again, the law is not to blame. The people who pass them are. And when we think that it was us, in the first place, who entrust these people to regulate us, than it is we who are to blame for the laws which make an ass out of all of us.

Thus we have people who try to ban Valentine’s Day celebration as apparently, our youths have the tendency to fornicate endlessly on 14th February every year. As evidence, well, just look at the number of baby dumping, say these moral Nazis.

Of course, in Perak, the poco-poco dance is banned. Why? Because the movements in the dance bear resemblance to the very evil Christian cross. Thus the Muslims who dance the poco-poco may unsuspectingly change their faith while doing so. While we are at it, why don’t we also change all T-junctions to roundabouts, please. Thank you for saving my faith.

Recently, we ban a sex education book written 40 years ago because apparently it may affect the moral of our kids. Well, I am sure for the past 40 years, the book has been the subject of surveillance in Malaysia. It has been found that all the babies born out of wedlock here are the result of that book. All the rapes and sodomies as well. And just count the number of baby dumping in Malaysia nowadays. I bet you it’s that book which is the cause.

Have you all noticed that our local radio would erase out the word “morphine” from Bruno Mar’s “It Will Rain?” Yes. In Malaysia, Bruno Mars would go “If you ever leave me baby; Leave some bzz bzz at my door…” (Why don’t we be a bit more creative? Fill in the blanked out lyric with some other words, like “cheese cake” or something, ya?).

We are even allergic to the word “morphine” nowadays. Now, please utter the word, “morphine, morphine, morphine, morphine.” Now, have you all become drug addicts? While we are at it, why haven’t we blanked out “ménage et trois” from Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night”? Oh, I forgot, nobody in the censorship board understands that French phrase.

Last week the Erykah Badu concert was banned when pictures of herself with tattoos of “Allah” in Arabic was splashed by a newspaper. According to official statements, problems may arise if the concert were to go on.

Have we ever looked at the real problems before banning things?

Let’s analyse what the problem was in the Erykah Badu case. Apparently some Muslims were insulted by the tattoos. Okay. Let’s just accept that as a fact, shall we? Now, does the banning of the concert do anything to “de-insult” the Muslims? Obviously not. Next question – assuming she has that tattoos on her body, does the banning in any way make her take away the offending tattoos? Does the banning make her “repent” so to speak? No. Not in a million years. Next – does the banning make all her Muslims fan burn her CDs and refuse to listen to her songs and therefore save their “aqidah” from this very evil woman? No.

And the million ringgit question is, how will this “no-offensive-tattoos-on your-body” rule be enforced on all artists/performers/speakers/comedians/politicians/imams, local or foreign, after this? I can imagine an approval letter for a foreign artist to perform in Malaysia being issued from now onwards. It says:

This permit is conditional upon the performing artist subjecting him/herself to a full and most transparent body check-up. Any tattoos deemed offensive on, within or inside his or her body will automatically invalidate this permit.”

Ladies and gentlemen, we have landed at the KLIA. Go direct to jail. Do not collect your $200.


C++ said...

Hahaha .... yup.. you're right.. our law is an (sic) ass ... hahaha..

Love you last sentence ... are you playing Monopoly lately... hahaha

Kaza said...

Art, love your sarcasm, as always..


Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you this but... "menage et trois" IS censored on one of the stations. Redfm, if I'm not mistaken. And yesterday I heard Lady Gaga's "You and I" (full version) on Mixfm, they censored out the words "Jesus Christ". I'm not sure whether it's because someone thinks it may be offensive to Christians to take Christ's name in vain, or someone doesn't want JC to be more popular than Muhammad (PBUH), or someone is overzealously looking after their own ass and trying to preempt an issue where there is none, and thereby creating one... who knows? This is Malaysia. We find everything offensive, every day.

Anonymous said...

Assholes are interpreting the laws...ha.ha.ah.ah.ah

Anonymous said...

Katy Perry's first hit "I kissed a girl" was also censored. So it plays as "I ______ a girl and I liked it". They wanted to censor "kissing a girl" but couldn't decide which word to censor, kiss or girl.
I'm sure kiss is still allowed in other songs.

Our gomen is SO stupid.....

Tiger said...

Father, must I go to work?
No, my lucky playa
We're living on Easy Street
On subsidy from Putrajaya

We've left it up to BN
So don't get exercised
Nobody has to give a damn
We've all been subsidized

But if BN treats us all so well
And feeds us milk and honey
Please, daddy, tell me what the hell
They are going to use for money

Don't worry, bub, there's not a hitch
In this here noble plan
They simply soak the filthy rich
And helps the common man

But father, won't there come a time
When they run out of cash
And we have left them not a dime
When things will go to smash?

My faith in you is shrinking, son
You nosy little brat;
You do too damn much thinking, son
To be a BN autocrat.

Anonymous said...

LOL.....our gomen is a real joke..and we are so known for that internationally too... malunye...haihhh..

DM Sirdi said...

Art-I never knew you are such an idiot, having such a hollow brain. You make sweeping statements but your statements are totally without substance. You are the real ass here.

Did you ever bother to find out why the religious authorities ban those acts or books that you ridicule? I never knew that your religious knowledge is almost nil. And yet you arrogantly whacked those muftis like you are more learned than them. I'm no fan of any of those muftis but when they issue non-political religious edicts or opinions, do take the trouble to find out the bases of their opinions or edicts. Do you know the effect on your faith when you make permissible things forbidden and vice-versa? Learn Art, learn! You are no genius. You are not even half as clever as you think you are! Lately you have been making numerous comments using your empty brain.

Islam is not a religion of pure opinions. A religion of what you think is right or wrong. Islam is a religion of knowledge backed opinions.

As a lawyer you should know that when you argue your cases you need to support your arguments with authorities in the forms of the constitution, statutes, enactments, court decisions, expert views etc. Similarly, in Islam, before arriving at any decision on any issue, reference must be had from the 2 principal sources of the Islamic law, i.e. the Qur'an and hadis of the Prophet (saw) and if authorities from those 2 sources are ambiguous, then refer to opinions of the scholars and choose the ones you are most comfortable with.

As a senior lawyer, you must have read thousands of court decisions. Did you find those judges expressing their opinions freely or they (they judges), refer to primary sources of law and other court decisions with the utmost respects? And in most cases they refuse to depart from those decisions?

In either case, our brains are not totally irrelevant, but our methodology in interpreting the law must be right. Law has its science of interpretation and so does Islam.

Of the numerous issues you raised, I just want to touch on that Erykah's tattoo. How can you, as a Muslim, which I think you are but may be you are not, be so insensitive about it? A godless person having the word Allah in Arabic tattooed on her bare breast. That's an act of sheer disrespect, putting it mildly. You not only tolerate her act but condemn the banning of her concert! Is your tolerance on blasphemy and things irreligious limitless? I would have also revolted if she had tattooed the image of a Hindu god on her bare breast even though I'm a Muslim. Respect others' sensitivities! What are you Art? A modern, liberated, tolerant, open minded, moderate, etc, man? Fuck you!

Anonymous said...

Hey DM Sirdi,

You seem very unsure of your own beliefs that you are quite happy to let somebody else do your thinking for you.

Yes, yes, I know, you will probably come up with the usual analogies of letting the "experts" decide. We've heard it all before. Unfortunately, matters of religion do not fit nicely into such shallow comparisons as you may wish to make.

To quote you, "Respect others' sensitivities!..." What about MINE? You condescending sanctimonious wannabe.

And oh yes, by the way, fuck you, dickhead.

Anonymous said...

Any rebuttal for DM Sirdi?

Anonymous said...

Guys, better don't touch on "sensitive" issues ! Don't forget this is Malaysia..or else you'll get fucked--just like what Art does. Even by a person of your own sex -- call it unnatural sexual intercourse, permissible when sensitive issues are touched upon !

Anonymous said...

'Breasts' is the MOST beautiful part of GOD's creation : (dun be a hypocrite lah) !

art harun said...

DM Sirdi,

Salam. And bawak mengucap.

Read my article again. Don't be clouded by anger.

As for your "fuck you" statement, well, you can fuck me and I can fuck you all we want. But that wouldn't change my opinion.


madonnarica said...

it's ménage à trois, not ménage et trois.

Anonymous said...

why ppl so judgmental? is liberal , a dirty word..?

Anonymous said...

in this country,this is what we call defender of faith..!!

here, we hv muslim NGO's, politicians,rulers, islamists- all defenders of faith.

Johan said...

Great article Art...

I guess our politicians and religious people need to be educated that running a country is very different from running a mosque or a church.

As for DM Sirdi, I am surprised that someone who can write so well in English can be so narrow minded. I guess I'm stereotyping, and need to change... :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, Art, with the banning of the sex education book, we will no longer have cases of rape or dumping of unwanted babies anymore.

While we are at it, we might as well banned women from driving so that we will not have any more moral problems caused by women tantalising men when they drive. I am sure the women would be more than happy to be driven around.

Anonymous said...

Hi Art,

Would like very much to hear your opinion on the recently released Altantuya case judgement.


Anonymous said...

I am just 30....supposedly living in a modern age... yet i feel my dad had a much better time when the folks were more harmonious in his younger days..

Suddenly we have highly "intelligent" folks like DuMb Sirdi who seems to think they are holier than thou.

while the "holier than thou" crowd think they are doing a great work of improving the country...more and more reflexology@prostitution centres in another name are opening all over...more baby dumping cases....more rape cases....more drug abuse...more corruption....

why does Jakarta, capital of the world largest Muslim nation allow her to perform? ....

makes u think doesn't it.....

2012 it may be.... but at times it feels like 1912....

Anonymous said...

anon 8,march 15.25

we want to showcase that the practise here is 'correct' compared to others.

today, u see the problems of muslim world, there a 'struggle for righteousness',some in violent manner

Anonymous said...

why does jakarta having so many......
cari makan bang. It got nothing to do with Muslim or non muslim country.itu satu kerja.