News done in bad taste

Today, the NST featured on its front page the face of a young man who died in an accident. This young man may not be the best rakyat (citizen) of Malaysia. But still, he is someone’s son, sibling, friend and so on. He must have had a tough life, having to resort to crime. He probably has his reason to snatch someone’s handbag. Maybe to find some money to buy something for his parents for Raya? Or to eke out the next meal?

We hate snatch thieves alright. They had accidentally or intentionally killed many innocent victims.

But still, I think our media should at least give some dignity to this dead man. And the police should issue a stern warning that none of us should take the laws into our own hands. Instead of commending the woman, how about charging her for reckless driving?

And portraying a woman (a grandmother) as a hero (the way I see it),whom had accidentally caused the death of someone else son is still not right.

The way which the news was written is in bad taste. If it is some fat girl who jumped and sat on a robber, then we can probably cheer that good has thriumph over evil. No one gets hurt.

But for a grandmother to risk her own life for her handbag and causing the death of a young man, it just seems so wrong. I hope my perceptions are wrong because it bothers me that our mainstream media has sensationalise the whole story in the wrong way. It is bad enough that our locals are already being fed rubbish by some vernacular papers, and now this.

My condolences to the family.

27 Replies to “News done in bad taste”

  1. I agree with you only in certain parts of your post. Featuring pictures of a deceased is a ‘no’ in my opinion.

    But this I definitely don’t agree with – “He must have had a tough life, having to resort to crime.He probably has his reason to snatch someone’s handbag..”. Snatch thefts are something I feel very strongly about, bcos I stay in Petaling Jaya (hotbed for these incidents). We can never justify these criminals’ reckless threats to public safety. Its because of these people that we PJ-ians are so extremely paranoid whenever we’re outdoors. My sister was a victim last year, and when reported to police, the response was “oh its the XX case today” (way too common for comfort).

    Looking at it alternatively, if everyone just let the thieves get away, it may be labelled as a case of public apathy in the face of these situations. Imagine if the grandma was hurt but no one gave chase. Perhaps the way the NST potrayed the incident could’ve been more sensitive to the deceased. But thats abt the only thing I’d change, else the report serves to deter potential thieves. It sends a strong message — the rakyat are not willing to take things lying down.

    sorry for the long comment, but as a PJ-ian, I feel not many ppl understand how VERY EXTREMELY frequent these incidents happen in PJ and how sick/fed-up PJ-ians are already. If I shared this story with ppl from my suburbs, they’d probably commend this lady as “gutsy” (not a mindset I readily submit to, but when even snatch thieves rob 60 plus yr old ladies of their clutchbags on the way to church, thats the mindset that develops, unfortunately)

  2. what u said is very true, a life is lost becoz of vigilante act & the cops applaud it too! ridiculous, if something like this happen here in australia, the grandmother would be charged with manslaughter!

  3. Reading the article carefully, I note that the grandmother only chased the snatch-theives… She did not shoot them with a rifle!!

    Hence, manslaughter is not appropriate.

    The snatch theif died of his own mistake. Plus, the article notes that the snatch theif was a “Henry Gurney reform”… so this isn’t his first time!

  4. I read the article carefully several times. Something tells me that I shouldn’t see it as a death of someone’s son, sibling etc. I see it as a death of a thief. It wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t resort to crime. Coz crime doesn’t justify anthing. If the thief had threathened my own life then robbed me, and died afterwards, no way in hell i’m going to symphatize with him.

  5. i agree with din. the grandmother gave chase because she was ROBBED, and at one point was threatened to get killed if she didn’t comply. the thief’s death was an accident. had he not committed the crime this would not have happened in the first place. i’m not sure if anyone would agree with me but i’d prefer to see it from another point of view and think that there is now one less thief in the country.

    having a tough life isn’t a reason, but an excuse, for someone to be a criminal.

    perhaps the report was not presented in a proper manner in regards to the deceased, but it serves as a good warning to all those criminals out there that crime does not pay.

  6. geez…the victim gave chase, the thieves panic, crashed on their own and die, it’s not the poor victim’s fault in anyway.

    so much for the sympathy for some stubborn healthy young criminal who had went to a reform school before. What if the thieves stab the victim with the knive?

    Also there’s thousands of ppl living a tough life, but how many of those resort to crime for a living?

    You were wrong, and the media did nothing wrong.

  7. Hello, we are not the jury here la. And lucky you all are not. Or else, mati la, everyone also deserves to die. Scary man.

    And then, read carefully. The Henry Gurney guy is the one that ran away. And it is not ok to satu kali swipe someone that had been to ‘gangster school’ with a “hey you from Henry Gurney? You memang pada muka. Mati la engko. Dilaknat Tuhan la tu.” (I know a bit about HG ‘cos last time, my company’s director, Dato’ Lew was/is the administrator there. These kids are from broken home and extremely poor families.)

    Ever think why some people turns to crime? It is the society. The society is people like us. We are the contributing factor.

    Anyway, folks, I am talking about the media giving a skewed report. Not asking for judgement, ok?

    BTW, do you think what the news will be if the driver is not of the same race as the dead guy? And what if the grandma in her haste in chasing, cause someone else’s bike to skid and that innocent guy died?

  8. Hello Lilian,
    I do commend you for your compassionate views on the incident.It is refreshing and much needed viewpoint in a right wing dominated mindset that I find to be the case in Malaysia.
    To achieve a mature society status, Malaysians need to be exposed to both conservative and liberal viewpoints
    and your views are certainly a good start.Please keep it up.Thank you for your time.

  9. Agree with you. It is a no-no heroism that Malaysian should not follow. The chase might cause worst accident that endanger others innocent life.

    – No matter how we hate the robbers, one should not forget about others safety. In such case, the paper fail to tell us whether the woman drive recklessly.

    – Some motor bikes rider are also ride stupidly : they keep forgetting right lanes is NEVER mean for vehicle like bikes. High speed vehicle take time to stop and bikes rarely have the luck when they encounter car at the high speed lanes.

    BTW, it is NST. A newspaper that best for recycling.

  10. A life was lost and thats very sad but somehow I can’t make myself symphatize with the thief. Perhaps my apathy is due to the rampant snatch thefts going on. They especially like to pick on women (especially those distracted with kids), the elderly and the weak sometimes causing serious injury and death to the victims. Whatever background they come from, there is no justification in picking on people weaker than you. I did not see the photos on the online version though so I can’t comment on whether that is in bad taste but the papers do like to sensationalise becos that sells but whose fault is that? the readers are equally at fault.

  11. first, the thieft lost control of his bike, fell down, and lost his life.

    2nd, the victim did not crash her car onto the bike, she only chases them to get back her handbag.

    the death of the thieft was an accident. and crime does not pay. Regardless of the reason either he needs the money urgently to save his parents or even a dying cat, robbery is definately wrong.

    Crime does not pay. Only this unfortunate one costs his life, accidentally. Nobody to blame except himself.

  12. The old lady was not wrong in any way. She did not delibrately cause his death. But I do agree the newspaper could have been more sensitive in the way they portrayed the death

  13. NST always produces bad tastes but the bathos for the bad guys here are mainly wasted ; there are plenty of better poor souls around who you’re unaware of outside of the crime scene with its regular miscreants. Plenty of innocent suffering people around to feel for.

    Bleeding hearts should understand the matter of priority when giving pathos to. It(pathos)is not an unlimited resource in a limited world.

  14. yea, agree that news was done in bad taste but having been a victim of snatch thieves before and having known a score of others who were hurt in the process as well, I think that there are a lot of people who’d resort to easy money than working hard for it. Something wrong with society I suppose that these people resort to crime but everyone has a choice.

  15. Do not agree with you on this. You cannot assume that they have had a hard life. It may be just a case of finding an easy life preying on women and the weak. In this case, they preyed on someone they though weak but she fought back. If you can justify their actions by such a statement, what about others who live and even harder life but do not resort to crime. There are som many of those people around but they strive through life without having to resort to crime. Yes, they are somebody’s family but did they think about what they were doing ? Did they think about the consequences themselves ? If they do not give a damn then should we ?
    Most times when a snatch crime is reported to the police, the police are not able to do anything. It goes into the unsolved crime pile. Similar to robberies, burglaries, car jackings, cars being stolen etc. And who says she was driving recklessly, it would seem that the motorcycle was the one that lost control and not the lady who banged into them.
    Please spare a thought to the victims of such crimes who suffer more than these unthinking perpertrators.

  16. I agree with YD.

    Criminals are scums of society, the lowest of all living organisms. My only concern for the relatives and friends of the deceased is that the guy didnt live long enough to suffer their humiliation of him getting caught alive, and the embarrassment he caused for the people that knew and loved him. The family and friends are suffering even more just because he was caught dead. Lucky bastard (pun intended), he got off easy. I sympathize to the mother that raised such a bastard. i sympathize even more if the she takes responsibility of his actions because it really wasnt her fault her son died an idiot.

    if i came across this blog a month back, i would probably be more forgiving, because i usualy am. less than a month ago i was relieved of my belongings by two robbers on a motorbike but not without recieving a bashing in on the face with a motorbike helmet. I was not even trying to be a hero. And i remember the grin on their faces after. They were never caught. Bastards. Im not so angry for myself, but more angry at the grief it caused to my loved ones. If you are the mother of a victim (God forbid), knowing your son/daughter is hospitalised with a stitched lip with severed nerves and broken bones in the face, and you spent 8 long hrs being a worried wreck thinking of the worst case scenario while waiting for the earliest plane that leaves the airport, would you still be championing for the crooks dignity? They(robbers) only deserve a mention of dignity just because denying them of it would be stooping to their level of indignity. Dignity is something we have which seperates us from scum.

    i admire your thoughtful intentions, the world is definitely be a better place to live in with people who are as thoughtful as yourself. =D

  17. Somehow rather, i had a strong tingling sense in my conscience while writing the comment and then submitting it. It was unwitting in my part.

    Im very sorry, i should have been more thoughtful instead of being impulsive. My sincerest apologies.

  18. NST tries to salvage itself in recent but what it can do superficially is not about to make right thinking people forgive it.

    Haven’t read that for much more than ten years. Too much damn misinformation and perversion of reality have floed under the bridge over the decades. The stunts it tries now are insincere and stingily proffered.

  19. have you ever had your handbag snatched? the consequences of such a crime go far beyond having to buy a new handphone or go get yourself a new IC. These are inconveniences, and while they make you angry, it’s anger that will fade.

    Far greater is the anger caused by the sudden realisation that you are now too scared to go out, you flinch every time a stranger comes close to you.

    why do you fault the lady for chasing them? she is the victim, she had every right to try to retrieve her own property.

    and i do not agree with the ‘maybe he had a hard life’ bit. yeah, maybe he did. lots of people do, without turning to crime. he made his choices, he chose crime and i know i should not feel like this – but no loss lah. people who prey on the weak, i have no pity for them – i pity his family. i am too filled with that anger i wrote about earlier.

    live by the sword, die by the sword – and if someone chooses a life of violent crime, then pity should go to his victims, not him.

    also, i noted a part of the story in the Daily Express that said police had recovered a knife that they believed was used in the crime. If that woman got into her car and gave chase when she had been threatened at knifepoint, i really salute her.

    when the criminals don’t feel so safe to threaten ordinary people in malaysia … maybe that’s when these crimes will stop. as long as they know that people won’t stand up to them, they rule the places that we live.

  20. one more thing i have to note. there are a lot of assumptions here.

    it is ASSUMED that she was driving recklessly – fast and reckless are not the same thing, and the boys skidded because THEY were going fast.

    it is ASSUMED that this snatch thief could have had a hard life, and therefore that is somehow an excuse to take someone else’s money, to threaten someone else’s safety. it is not however assumed that maybe that money in her handbag was all she had for the month, that maybe she had kids to feed.

    i know what the press is like. i don’t believe that any stories are ever completely bias free. but then it seems to me that the original posting that i am rpelying to was the creation of a scenario based on the newspaper report and the above assumptions.

    i know i must be sounding quite harsh, and i do apologise for that, this is not a personal attack. it’s just that this is an issue i feel strongly about, as i have had my handbag snatched, as well as been assaulted on other occassions. it is such a violation, and it leaves scars. reading the newspapers is so terribly demoralising at the amount of snatch thieves alone who end up killing their victims is ridiculous. i guess i should be a better person, but all i think is that hey, that’s one snatch thief off the streets, who can’t hurt/ kill anyone else. good.

  21. Hi there,
    I know a little too late a reply to this but I just came acroos this entry from you and feel I had to say something.
    I appreciate the compassion and respect you have for human life but a crime is still a crime, no matter how we put it. The NST may have sensationalised the story of this supergran (who happens to be my own mother) and I do not necessarily agree to this but, when someone puts rambo knife to your stomach with the intention of hurting you and snatching your valuable belongings right in front of your own house, then I cannot blame this grandmother for giving chase. Though not many may have reacted this way, but understandably this grandmother acted on intuition to protect her belonging, and did, I feel, something gutsy that not many people would do. And I respect her for that, only that this act jeopardised her own safety. I too feel it is so unfortunate a life was lost but that was not intentionally done. So I dont believe any blame should be put on the victim. And what about the trauma that this grandmother had to endure? Did you know that my mother still shivers from the sound of motorcycles passing by? And what if my mother was carrying my then 9 month old daughter or 6 year old nephew with her?!!! Crime is getting more rampant and it is just not right to say that the snatch thief who died had a valid excuse to do what he did. Let us learn from this very hard and painful lesson and make us a better society.

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