The fubar about Kugan

APRIL 10 — Two days ago I found out the Serengeti means “endless plains” in Swahili. Since in Malaysia we are in the process of banning words from use, if it makes the prime minister queasy, I would like to know what, “acute congestion of the lungs due to acute inflammation of the heart muscles, compounded by blunt force trauma” means in Swahili?

Because according to the “official” medical consensus there was no foul-play in the unfortunate death of A. Kugan, since it was a classic case of “acute congestion of the lungs due to acute inflammation of the heart muscles, compounded by blunt force trauma”.

The garden variety type.

(For the non-Malaysian reader, a police suspect A. Kugan ended up dead after being in police custody for days, and the police have maintained their innocence in the matter. The authorities tried hard to block any independent post-mortem)

Since we have no Swahili words in addition to “Serengeti” and the medical explanation is too long, tedious and clearly fashioned to shut us up, and various words might be banned in very quick time, especially since Hishamuddin Hussein became home minister, I’m just going to refer all questionable things as ‘fubar’.

Kugan died of fubar, and in Malaysia fubar may be a bad thing, but not an illegal thing.

It is important to note that fubar is never illegal, and therefore all things done and to be done by the Najib administration might be distasteful for most people in working democracies, but they are just and nothing more than fubar.

The distraught family might ask for further medical examination of their buried son, and they might ask other experts to talk and they may even be silly enough to file a report with one organisation singularly assigned by every BN government to never ever deal with any human rights infringements — Malaysia’s human rights commission Suhakam.

They might ask for a place in the next space shuttle, but all official replies to the case will be it was a case of fubar. Questionable but not illegal.

I’m tempted to carry on ranting for the next few paras, and then a few more, but that would digress and not help Kugan’s family.

They are not the only family in Malaysia to be afflicted by acts of fubar, however they have generated enough traction to keep the momentum going. Justice is not seasonal.They cab carry the cause on.

Altruism may be partially absent in some of the help the family is receiving, politicians and activitst, yet the true drivers for this case has to be the family.

I won’t blame them if they want to move on, since the stress they are experiencing must be enormous.

All I can say is that the Najib administration may call it fubar, but they are nervous as hell over it, and can’t wait for the family to resign to their version of what transpired.

The blue eyed boys in the administration, after years of Umno club experience in the UK and years of reacquainting themselves with the middle class they must understand through unaccented Malay, will come up with various strategies to placate the “Indian community”.

But Kugan is not an Indian case, Kugan is a working class case.

There is a phenomenal number of social advocates in this country who are of Indian descent — lawyers, NGO leaders, writers etc — and they are not dying mysteriously in police custody.

The authorities are quick to figure out in a cursory glance and first speech, who has the benefit of education. They harass them, but they follow the letter of law when dealing with them.

They don’t die mysteriously under their watch.

The Kugans and the other lads, the Rashids, Badrul, Foo, Lee, Winston and the rest, all from the less affluent are the targets.

That is the actual unifying thing about Kugan, and his death.

That the poor and ill-informed have less rights. And they get the fubar.

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