The price of speculation


We call him a hero now, but how many of us have apologised to taxi driver Hanizan Mohamed Radzi?

Scott Ng, Free Malaysia Today

Hanizan Mohamed Radzi’s rescue of an abducted child is the stuff of parables. It is worthy of national accolades. He gave us an example of how we Malaysians should look after each other. After the public apathy that led to the death of Kevin Morais, it is refreshing to know that there is still someone out there who would do the right thing when civic duty calls.

And yet Hanizan has suffered the indignity of being detained by the police for a week. He may have been cleared of all suspicion, but there were certain members of the public that jumped to the conclusion that he must have played a role in the kidnapping just because he was taken in for questioning.

Now, the police were merely doing their job. Kidnapping is a serious crime, and it’s understandable that they would not take any chances. But we have to wonder why it took them a whole week to clear this innocent man.

But let’s turn now to those of us who sat on our imaginary benches as judges.

These are days in which trust is scarce. We’ve become suspicious, willing to believe the worst of each other. Even when we’re not atrociously judgemental, we sit as spectators keenly watching our favourite dramas, exclaiming at plot developments and coming up with our own wild conjectures to support what we want to believe.

Usually, those delusions get dispelled in the next episode or so, and all is right again with the world. But we’re not in Gotham, or Hell’s Kitchen, or even Smallville. Talk can do a lot of harm, and it is depressing to imagine the unjust whispers Hanizan’s family have had to endure during his detention. It must have been pure torture to his wife, children, parents, brothers and cousins to endure the thought that he was linked to the kidnapping while knowing that he was innocent.