Sunday, March 01, 2009

Crime and punishment

I was on my way to the lunch, and to buy some stationary to “modify” my keyboard a little.

It should have been a brisk walk, a short route which I had taken many many times before. Unfortunately, not this time.

At Jalan Menara Gading 1, the rows of shop houses right in front of my uni, and right between the uni and its off-campus hostel, a mob was in the process of smashed anything made of glass at a hair saloon. Their hands armed with sticks, their faces covered by a motorcycle helmet with its visor lowered. A few of the gang waited outside with their getaway motorcycles keeping watch.

I stood on the opposite side of the road with other spectators. All shaking their heads, all crossing their arms, all clucking their tongues, and all powerless. How many people? How many motorcycles? I don’t know. I was frightened.

Where’s my camera? At home. And no, not even a handphone camera would do. The trouble with cameras is that they’re too conspicuous unless I can find a well-hidden vantage point. They have lookouts don’t they? Police? They look like they’re wrapping up. No chance of getting here in time. What should I do? What should I do?

One of the mobsters gave one final whack and the shop window, and they’re on their way out.

I continued on my journey think of what I just say. Before I even take a turn into the next street, a snatch theft. I’m certainly familiar with this one. The victim was a girl, mercifully unhurt although I’m not sure if the robbery was successful. In fact I wouldn’t have seen it at all if she didn’t shriek. Someone gave chase.

I continued on.

What could I have done?

In hindsight, I should have at least went into the shop and see if anybody was hurt. I had first aid training didn’t I? Pfft… idiot. Perhaps I could at least try to commit to license plate numbers to memory, but I didn’t even attempt to move to somewhere I could see it. Pfft… coward.

Sigh… what a day. 45 mins later when I paid for my food, my hands were still trembling in fear. I wonder if the cashier noticed.

Gun lobbyist have long argued that an armed citizenry is the solution to this, because the act of calling law enforcement officers by itself is a risky act, never mind waiting for them to show up. Personally, I think this would create more problems than it would solve. Besides, crooks would always came prepared and with the element of surprise.

I feel it is unlikely for the perpetrators of what I have witnessed today would ever get caught. At least, not for today’s incident.

In a society where law enforcement is lax and the police has zero credibility in every area except crowd control and suppressing demonstrations, who can fault me for finding the idea of an armed citizenry tempting for a moment. Hope is scarce when the outlaws would always have the edge against the inlaws (pardon the pun), yet I’d hate to see it descend into the darkness called “state of nature”.

I wonder what happened behind the scenes to have inspired such violence. But more importantly I wonder:

What should I have done?

What should we do?

Nothing feels as helpless as witnessing an injustice yet powerless to do anything about it, whether bystander or victim.



Sigh… I need a hug.



Blogger Titus Tang said...

That's just how life is. Don't get messed up over it =)

March 01, 2009 10:10 PM  
Blogger Sara de Souza said...

well I know that if you could, you would do something about it.

but there's always something that's outside of our control, but that's because there's always a reason for anything and everything that happens.

maybe you're supposed to just let it happen? I dunno about you but I believe in fate~ if things happen, it's meant to happen whether I like it or not~

so don't kick yourself over it okay xD

March 02, 2009 1:09 AM  
Blogger Ju said...

I totally understand, about kicking yourself over thinking back on what you could have done to help.

And if it were someone being hurt, it would be almost unforgivable to just stand by and watch without at least trying something. Because doing nothing is almost as bad as committing the crime yourself.

But you shouldn't mess with a group of gangsters... at least not by yourself. So i'm just glad you're safe :) sounds like you live in a dangerous neighbourhood... when did m'sia become so terrible? Haih. We need more policemen.

March 05, 2009 6:31 PM  

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