Retired army captain Hussaini Abdul Karim says he would have disciplined the crude ‘bottoms-up’ army veterans and sent them for rehabilitation if he had been their senior officer. Azmi Sharom adds a dose of sarcasm for good measure.
A letter in today’s Star:
Protest was crude and rude
I REFER to your report, “Group performs ‘butt exercises’ in front of Ambiga’s home” (The Star, May 16).
As a former army officer, I feel grossly ashamed by the antics of those who have conducted themselves unbecomingly by performing “butt exercises” in front Bersih co-chairman Datuk S. Ambiga’s house in Bukit Damansara yesterday.
What they did was not just crude, it was rude.
They held the bizarre and ‘very low-class’ protest in retaliation for her organising the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, which they claimed had given the country a bad name.
It was reported that on Tuesday morning, about 15 ex-servicemen were seen stretching and shaking their buttocks in front of her house.
As an officer, like all officers of the Malaysian Armed Forces from the Army, Navy and the Air Force, we were trained as officers as well as gentlemen and we were, and are still, expected to conduct ourselves exemplarly at all times, even after we retired or have left the service.
However, the group of army veterans led by the Malay Armed Forces Veterans Association president Mohd Ali Baharom, who held the protest, I believe, are from the ‘non-officers rank’.
Do they think that their way would gain them supporters, admirers or bouquets? I definitely don’t think so.
If such a thing were to happen while I was still in service and if I was the officer-in-charge, or for that matter any officer who was in charge at the time, we would have disciplined all of them and we will put all of them through a rehabilitation programme. But since they are now veterans, they do not have any ‘officers’ to correct them anymore.
There are many acceptable ways to conduct a protest and in a civil manner, one of which is to use the courts. The other way is to hold a dialogue or send a protest letter.
I wish to categorically state the action of that group as not representative of the Corp of Army Veterans, officers or other ranks regardless, and that we detest their action.
CAPT (RTD) HUSSAINI ABDUL KARIM,
Azmi Sharom’s column in The Star today:
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Of burgers and butts
Brave New World (The Star)
17 May 2012
The recent wave of protests has set a precedence of sorts, where it appears that it is perfectly all right to gather anywhere just as long as you ask first.
WHAT a week it has been; full of surprises that had me reeling from the improbability of it all.
The police, it seems, have learnt their lesson after Bersih 3.0 and are now the paragons of liberty and freedom – the freedom to assemble to be exact. It would appear that today it is perfectly all right to gather anywhere just as long as you ask them first.
It is okay, therefore, to set up stalls on the road in front of people’s houses. You can even cook food in your stalls.
I was always under the impression that this kind of activity required some sort of city council permission.
After all, there are health and food safety issues to be considered. Obviously, I was wrong.
It is also okay to organise exercise classes on the road in front of people’s houses. Why, the exercise can even be quite risqué, with the swaying of large bottoms in the air.
I suppose that if I were to speak to the men in blue, they would say that these activities were safe because not many people were involved, unlike Bersih 3.0 with the tens of thousands of participants.
Well, seeing as this is their logic, and seeing as some sort of precedence has been established here, I think any future protests should be in the same vein.
No more giant gatherings but instead lots and lots of mini ones. The cops can’t possibly say no because then they would be hypocrites of the first order, and surely hypocrisy is not in their Standard Operating Procedure.
May I suggest that the burger sellers and the aerobic dancing ex-army gang be used as a template? But with more imagination.
For example, a group of citizens can open a little stall in front of the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s house. I think the stall should be a recycling stall. People can go to this stall and bring all those, now useless, science and math school textbooks in the English language and leave them there for recycling.
Or perhaps a stall in front of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s house offering a demonstration of model building. I am thinking along the lines of Airfix models.
You know, little battleships, bombers, submarines, fighter jets, that kind of stuff. After all, he used to be Minister of Defence. I am sure he would like it. Why he might even try his hand at a model or two.
However, may I suggest that any such gathering and protest be done in a non-discriminatory way?
I mean if you are going to protest against the Government, then protest in front of all the houses of the Cabinet members, unlike the burger men and aerobic dancers who seem to have singled out Ambiga Sreenevasan.
Why don’t they flip their sausages and wave their bottoms at national laureate A. Samad Said’s house? What about Bersih steering committee member Hishamuddin Rais? He might feel left out.