This article was previously published on The Malaysian Insider.
Lord Bobo, why is our police force so impotent and useless? Some thugs can get together and do the most vile and inciteful things towards Teresa Kok because of a silly satire video, and our police are nowhere to be seen. What’s going on? Do you think her video deserves this reaction? (Duit Kopi, via email)
We’ll deal with the second question first — whether Teresa Kok’s video deserves the outrage some people have expressed towards it.
Lord Bobo is a fan of satire and comedy, and as you may have noticed, we are also strong advocates for freedom of expression. Satire, as a form of political protest, is naturally aimed to provoke and agitate. Teresa Kok has successfully done so and Lord Bobo congratulates her for achieving the intended result.
The Malaysian public may be unfamiliar with this, but the right to freedom of expression allows citizens to criticise politicians. Levelling criticisms against politicians is crucial in any healthy, liberal, democracy — what more when Malaysia the best democracy in the world.
Some people may not have enjoyed the video. Some people may have found it not at all entertaining or funny. That’s their right, of course. They also have the right to express what they think about the video.
However, that does not mean that Teresa Kok loses her right to make and distribute that video, or that the government or the police should step in to censor it or punish her.
It also most certainly does not mean that people should be allowed to incite violence against her by making death threats, spreading vile and untrue propaganda and images of her, throwing around deeply offensive and inciteful, racist remarks, and offering rewards for violent acts against her.
The infamous Papagomo has also been going to town online spreading all sorts of hate propaganda against Teresa Kok. His Twitter profile photo is currently an image of her superimposed with the snout of a pig. He has repeatedly made extremely racist remarks inciting violence against her, and tweeting photos of dead pigs and dead people and asking whether these could be Teresa Kok.
Papagomo’s actions surprise no one anymore. But the question is how come he gets away with it? Despite being a man of obviously questionable intelligence, Papagomo is obviously someone of unquestionable importance.
How did the organisers and participants of the demonstration against Teresa Kok get away with it? Organisers of rallies calling for free and fair elections get hauled up to the police station numerous times, and participants get sprayed with chemical water, boxed-in with tear gas, and then beaten up for good measure.
In the meantime, Papagomo and the like are left to roam undisturbed. And your home minister of course even infamously declared some of the biggest gangsters in KL as his “friends” though he later said he was misquoted.
The Home Minister now says that those offering rewards to slap Teresa Kok did not commit an offence — this statement flies in the face of logic and the law, which of course makes it par for the course for your home minister. If this is not lawlessness and sheer incompetence, His Supreme Eminenceness doesn’t know what is.
However, it would be wrong to say that the police are impotent and useless. Lord Bobo knows many people would be upset with that statement. “How dare you insult our hardworking and loyal police officers!” — They would wail, get their underthings in knots, accuse you of being ungrateful, and of course of being a traitor to the nation.
Yes, the police are neither impotent nor useless. Free your mind. They have proven their extreme potency and utility many times over in the most serious of cases.
They were very swift to act in the Alvivi scandal of great national importance. The case was opened, investigated, tried, and closed in as little time as it takes Alvin to spring into action.
When some people of incomprehensible moral fibre and ethics decided to step on images of the prime minister and her husband, who else but your brave men and women stepped in to locate the scumbags responsible. They were rounded up and even handcuffed — and this great threat to the fabric of your nation was immediately quelled.
More recently, when some irresponsible parties decided to organise flash mobs and make videos making fun of the kangkung episode, Malaysia was yet again put in grave danger. But all the way, your police were there, making statements, calling people in for questioning.
Yes dear Duit Kopi, cease your insolent remarks about the great Royal Malaysian Police Force. Be grateful, for goodness sake.
Although Lord Bobo already knows your question before you even knew you had a question, as a practical display of your true desire to have your query answered, His Supreme Eminenceness has graciously allowed you to communicate your questions by either emailing [email protected] or tweeting your question, mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #AskLordBobo. Now, what the hell are you waiting for? Hear This and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)!