Thursday, 11 June 2015

An open letter to the nudists: Our culture makes us who we are; who are you to question it, let alone defile it?

Dear Emil, Monkeetime, and the rest,

I haven’t been this angry in a long time. In fact, I doubt I have ever been this angry. I was raised to respect people as equals, and I am doing my best to keep that in mind. I am truly, however, disappointed and ashamed to have to call you as such. Please know that there is nothing more I would like to do than cuss you out, but I am a better person – not better than you, but better than that.

I cannot understand and I cannot even begin to fathom how utterly and completely selfish you must be. It is not a joke. It is not even remotely funny. People have lost families and loved ones because of the earthquake. If you did or did not cause it is not the point. If the mountain has spirits or not is not the point.

The point is you.

The point is your disrespect, and your continual disrespect of Malaysia. You have not insulted just the locals of Borneo – you have insulted Malaysia. Every. Single. One of us who call it home, whether we live here or overseas.

The point is your insolence for who we are. This is not your home. This is not your country. You are but a visitor, with no right to do what you did. Our culture makes us who we are; who are you to question it, let alone defile it?

The point is your ignorance of the current situation. People have lost lives. People have lost family and loved ones. People have lost their homes. People are suffering. And you don’t care. Don’t tell me otherwise, because it’s evident in the way you speak.

The point is your inability to take responsibility for what you have done. I don’t mean the earthquake – I mean the incivility you have displayed by taking those pictures. You would not go to France and draw on the Mona Lisa. You would not go to England and vandalise the Buckingham Palace. You would not go to Egypt and take a dump on the pyramids. And yet, you have taken nude pictures on sacred land. It’s the same thing; you have come into our land and blatantly, and without any sign of remorse, desecrated something that is special to us.

Own up. Take responsibility. Apologize. These are basic manners ingrained into me since I was a child. I don’t know what background you’ve had, nor how you were raised. I only know the bare basics of how to behave. You have taken those pictures. You have shown nothing but a complete and utter effrontery for us as a country. You have damaged the sacredness of our mountain, and then you have the sheer audacity to insult us and our culture after that.

I am angry, but I am also disgusted. I am disgusted by your hard heart – your lack of empathy towards those who are suffering. I am disgusted that you have such a small mind and such a shallow appreciation for different cultures that you can’t understand what you have done wrong. I am disgusted that you cannot and will not take responsibility for what you have done. I am disgusted by your continual insulting of our culture and our people.

You alone know why you did such horrible acts, and you alone know why you have shown such disrespect towards us as a nation. All I know is that I truly and honestly pity you, because only someone with absolutely no moral standards would ever do something like this. What truly horrible lives you must live and have lived to have turned out this way.

I can only hope that, one day, you find your way back to humanity.
Sincerely,

Written by Melanie Lim
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