Archive for June 2009
Tak tahu betul ke tak? So, kene siasat dulu..Tunggu dan lihat berita selanjutnya.. Melibatkan isu dua buah negara..huhu
The shocking tale of Manohara Odelia Pinot, the beautiful Indonesian teenager whose marriage to a Malaysian prince ended in her escape from his clutches this week, has predictably captivated the public here like few stories could. The case also comes as Malaysia and Indonesia face rising tensions over the Ambalat waters, an area where they have overlapping border claims. Relations clearly have taken a turn for the worse.
When Manohara’s mother told the public in April that her 17-year-old daughter had been kidnapped by the prince’s family while on a minor pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, the story seemed almost too fantastic to be true. Manohara had married a prince of Malaysia’s Kelantan state, Tengku Temenggong Muhammad Fakhry, in what seemed like a fairy-tale romance that would lead to riches and a life of luxury. The mother’s claim that Manohara was being abused and held against her will defied reason.
Now, it appears to have all been true. The young woman, a model and minor celebrity, returned home with tales of being drugged and enduring sexual abuse. “Sexual abuse and sexual harassment were like a daily routine for me,” she said after arriving in Jakarta. She said she was systematically cut with a razor and maltreated as a prelude to sexual acts. The prince appears to have considered his lovely young bride as little more than another piece of property.
Far beyond the sinetron aspects of a case that seems tailor made for a soap opera or a movie of the week lies the very real fact that an Indonesian citizen, a minor, required the help of Singaporean police and the US Embassy to escape the clutches of an abusive spouse. It is just a matter of luck that the prince’s family allowed her to go to Singapore, where she had a chance to alert police to her predicament.
This case must be investigated thoroughly and transparently by the Malaysian police before it drives a wedge between our two countries. It is a sad truth that Indonesian workers, including female domestic servants, have long been the target of abuse by some employers in Malaysia. Manohara’s story is all the more disturbing because she says that the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur did not rise to her defense. If true, the officials in that embassy must be held to account by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
We must not stand by and accept such treatment of an Indonesian citizen. The publicity the case has generated and the shocking accusations made by Manohara herself have elevated this matter beyond the tabloids. It is serious and demands action.
The Indonesian government must receive a satisfactory response from the Malaysian government. The abuse and mistreatment of Indonesians by our neighbor has gone on for too long. The Manohara case, beyond her suffering, can serve a useful purpose if it forces action to be taken on a range of such issues.
If there is no appropriate response from Malaysia on Manohara, Indonesia would be well within its right to rethink its bilateral relationship with Malaysia. This is a matter that now involves our pride. It is time for Indonesia to stand up to Malaysia.