This Bendera (Benteng Demokrasi Rakyat) is no civil society movement in Indonesia. No siree. Its members are vicious and rabid people.
They're also blinkered. Could they also be so dense? That they are angry with all of Malaysia because of the cases of abuse of their nationals by Malaysian employers.
The Malay proverb "kerana nila setitik rosak susu sebelanga" seems to be holding true here. More so in the eyes of Bendera.
I don't remember Malaysians protesting in front of the Indonesian Embassy everytime Indonesians (in Malaysia) were arrested in murder or robbery cases. Because we don't tar every Indonesian with the same brush.
I don't hate the next Indonesian maid when one runs off from her employer to be with her construction worker boyfriend, leaving her young charges to fend for themselves for hours.
Yet, I am horrified, saddened and angry everytime I hear or read about abuses of foreign workers. It tears at my very being. I feel for them and their families.
When Bendera made headlines some weeks ago for going a little too far (usually they threaten to kill Malaysians) -- staging a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta during which they stomped on and smeared excrement on the Malaysian flag and hurled faeces at the embassy -- over the maritime incident, I dismissed them as just a small group of misguided nationalists. A little loony, perhaps.
They don't represent Indonesia, I was so sure. And I still hold to that.
I didn't get them and still don't because we, Malaysians, don't think that way.
Following the media publicity on the latest Indonesian maid abuse in Georgetown, some 500 Bendera members on motorbikes yesterday protested in front of the Malaysian embassy and demanded that the ambassador leaves the republic in two days OR ELSE (or they'll drive him out)!
I'm not sure now whether these fanatics will NOT harm Malaysians in Jakarta.
I know that it's been threats so far. But you can never be sure now because they just don't seem to get it -- that it's not Malaysia that's abusing, raping and killing Indonesian workers. Just some really bad Malaysians. ..
And these bad Malaysians get the severest punishment under the law.
We don't condone any form of abuse of workers....
Just like it's not all of Indonesia but a few bad apples committing crimes in Malaysia...