Ever opinionated, Editorial Director Ben Liew opines on the hunt for boorish tourists with a penchant for nudity and urination.
That’s me peeing down a bridge on cars. Let’s get that out of the way. Sure, it caused annoyance to the cars below but at 15 on a boring Sunday night in nothing-to-do Subang Jaya, that seemed like the right thing to do. I was a kid then, I regretted my actions, and, it was a rainy night.
Drawing much attention to their plight, the nude tourists who offended local sensitivities on Mount Kinabalu recently aren’t going to get as much sympathy. But perhaps their ringleader Emil Kaminski (whom I shall hereby referred to as Monkee), still at large, should take note of what happened to 23-year-old Daniel Athens who peed on The Alamo at Texas a few years ago.
Lemme summarise it for you. Eighteen months in jail without parole and a USD4000 fine. Canada and America are two different countries, Monkee, but wouldn’t you get similar punishment on either side of the border?
I remember watching Remember The Alamo, presented by Dunhill, back when cigarette brands were allowed to advertise on national TV (or at all). If anything, it’s just as important as A’Famosa or Mt. Kinabalu or any other place where so many have fallen.
Some might argue that the Alamo’s a historical monument that’s well known, and Mount Kinabalu is just a piece of rock formation that happens to be one of the highest and most frequented peaks in Southeast Asia. Urinating on the Alamo’s limestone also erodes the structure whereas Mt. Kinabalu is already covered with nature’s pee (from animals, trekkers, and guides). However, Athens, the Alamo-pee-er, was a drunken delinquent; not the kind of cultural terrorist Monkee is, pissing across every scared site in Asia.
That’s all in the past. Damage has been done and Malaysians want blood. Too much Monkee-talk only digs a deeper hole. But don’t let the hammer fall just yet.
Since Monkee has to consider the aforementioned case of indecency, Malaysians should take a lesson themselves. More than three decades prior to Mr. Athens’ case, the Godfather of Heavy Metal, Ozzy Osboure had a similar incident when (again, under the bottle’s influence) he relieved himself on a 60-foot-high Cenotaph (a monument erected in honour of a dead person) which was across the street from The Alamo. He was allegedly wearing a dress when the desecration happened.
Ozzy was subsequently banned from the city for 10 years. When he was finally allowed back in 1992, he donated USD10,000 to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (caretakers of the Alamo) and gave this statement: “We all have done things in our lives that we regret. I am deeply honoured that the people of San Antonio have found it in their hearts to have me back. I hope that this donation will show that I have grown up.” (source: The San Antonio Express-News, 10 September 1992)
Monkee does not deserve the same grace that Ozzy got but then again, Athens and Monkee are not as influential. More importantly, how do we look like when we eventually catch our Monkee and spank him? Western media are already exploding with misconceptions about what a messed up country Malaysia is with bomohs looking for missing planes, Hudud law, and the prosecution of K-pop stars. This mixed amongst real news of unbridled corruption and institutionalised bigotry doesn’t put us in a spot where we can demand a heavy sentence for Monkee.
I say give Monkee a fair trial in an international court. Once he’s formally established himself in a court of law as a megalomaniac with a video camera and a passport, then there will be no judge in the world that would let him go free. Personally, I’m interested to hear his agenda. Is there a reason to all this chaos or is it just blind vanity? Do you just strip, or strip-and-pee at each sacred location? Also, why are you hiding your dicks if you’re going full frontal? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
Before this turns into an all-out war on culture and extremism, perhaps we should even contemplate taking the moral high ground and give Monkee and his crew the Ozzy treatment – shun them and ban them for 10 years. No prisons (waive the three-month jail term for public indecency), no rotans or any other forms of harshness save for the shaking heads of international disapproval. Maybe with some time alone (not in jail but by himself without friends), Monkee will come to realise the hurt he has brought to the denizens of Kinabalu.
And maybe those donkey ears will grow back too.