Hey, was I glad to see the NST report on Page 2 (March 26, 2005) that puts to dust the myth created by potential national leaders that they are contributing to the betterment of society having their members going around spying on courting couples and then reporting to the religious authorities after enjoting their voyeuristic sojourns.
The report, headlined State morality squad disbanded, led off with "It is official. Malacca's controversial morality police squad is out of business."
This follows a Cabinet directive asking that the unit, commonly known as Mat Skodeng, set up by the Malacca 4B Youth movement, be disbanded. For the past month, 60 youths have been going around the city peeping on couples, presumably to put the brakes on immoral activities.
Mat Skodeng adviserHassan Rahman was quoted by the NST as saying: "I am quite disappointed that we have been directed to disband," adding that the unit was instrumental in getting religious officers to act against four couples who were committing khalwat (close proximity, an offence under Syariah law).
Hassan, who is also the state 4B permanent deputy president, said he was toying with the idea of getting the former snoops to be employed as enforcement officers with the state religious department. He also reported that about RM7,000 had been spent on the snoop squad.
Yesterday in my post, Malacca chief minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, who had launched the snoop force, was reported by the NST as saying that he understood the directive by the Cabinet.
"It may lead to other parties following suit with their own squads," he said. "That would pose a major problem then. Hence, I will tell 4B Youth to disband the squad."
To Hassan's expressed view of recommending that his snoop members be employed as enforcement officers with the state religious department, the question arises: Is the 4B Youth saying they are an appropriate and good recruitment channel for such a purpose? Would they then move on to recommend their members to represent other state authorities to recruit members as state employees, ad infinitum?
And to State CEO Ali, just admit you have made a mistake instead of compounding it. The Cabinet ordered the Mat Sodeng to "stop" because its stated objective by itself was wrong. Period. It's not because "other parties might follow suiit with their own squads". In fact, I recall the Malacca 4B had earlier said it intended to rope in other groups, including non-Malay, to perform similar duties.
The RM7,000 could have raised some joy and smiles on some other human faces at a few orphanages or old folks homes in Malacca, if a youth movement just knows where its priorities lie.
To Ali, Hassan and their 4B followers, the adage "Look before you leap" applies here, more than once.