Zaharom Nain finds it ironic that a 23-year-old felon can be regarded as a ‘boy’ while children who are forced into marriage are considered adults.
Among the unfortunate aspects of media coverage of the convicted felon, Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, have been the careless, even erroneous, descriptions of this child pornographer and possible paedophile.
The word ‘scholar’ in most discussions would invariably denote someone wise, an intellectual, an academic, a sage even.
Certainly, it would connote someone respectable and deserving of our respect.
How Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin could be described as a ‘scholar’ – as he continues to be described in a number of news reports – beggars belief.
He was a third-year university undergraduate when he was arrested, for heaven’s sake, so let’s please not elevate his status.
He has also been described as a ‘genius’, which, again, when you look at his actual achievements, is quite far off the mark.
Apparently, he is quite good in maths and took part in this international math competition, but ended up very low down the table, with quite non-genius scores.
That’s about it. Nothing remarkable, nothing indicating a genius.
Then there’s yet another annoying description of this man that is way off the mark and seems to imply that he was just being naughty by making, downloading, and possibly distributing all that child porn.
And that is that he is a ‘boy’. A boy? He’s a 23-year-old man, for crying out loud. He is eligible to vote; he could have a driving licence.
Indeed, he could legally go into any cinema in England and watch an X-rated movie. Which he probably did more than once.
The romanticisation of this person must stop. He is a felon, convicted for the heinous acts of making, collecting and, I am sure, distributing child pornography.
And, thus far, there have been no reports of him indicating his remorse for what he has done. Neither has there been any sign of regret – either from him or his sponsors.
Indeed, as if to illustrate their ignorance of what his crime really is, members of the institution/organisation sponsoring him, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), almost immediately came to his defence.
One – now infamous – Mara council member likened Nur Fitri to “a kid who played truant”.
“Played truant”? “A kid’’? This sounds exactly like the pathetic, idiotic whining of someone who evidently had not done his research.
Extremely serious nature of his crime
Someone who had not bothered to examine and understand the extremely serious nature of this man’s crime.
Nur Fitri participated in the making of the most perverse images of child pornography. He did not simply play truant.
Of course, as is so typical of these individuals, once other Malaysians reacted with anger and disgust at his suggestion that Nur Fitri be given a ‘second chance’, another scholarship to continue his studies back in Malaysia, the Mara councillor turned around and said that he had been “misquoted”.
As with many others before him, this Mara official asserted that his remarks had been “taken out of context”.
But, of course, this is Bolehland. So, there has been a quick downplaying of a ‘second chance’ for Nur Fitri. The consensus now seems to be that, once he has served his sentence and returns to Malaysia, he may, of course, be allowed to continue his studies.
But certainly not with a scholarship. Nobody, it has been argued, should stop him from studying, but it’s got to be on his tab, not ours.
More importantly, given the severity of his crime, it is evident that Nur Fitri needs to be constantly monitored, kept away from children, and given professional counselling.
The worrying question is: do we have the expertise to both monitor and counsel him?
Indeed, it may be true that the furore has all but died down now, with the ongoing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal once again taking centre stage in our daily lives.
But there surely is a need for us all to remain vigilant because, given the way law enforcement operates in Malaysia, we really don’t know what will be the final outcome of all this.
Some concerned Malaysians have asked for the setting up of a register of sex offenders, particularly child sex offenders. Our law enforcers apparently don’t see the need for one, asserting that ALL criminals are `listed’ by the police.
Also, how can there be a register if the abuse and exploitation of (some) children in this country is legitimised through child marriages?
Indeed, it is ironic and certainly pathetic and contemptible for us as a society that a 23-year-old felon can be regarded as a ‘boy’ while children who are forced into marriage are considered adults.