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Friday, 10 August 2012

Generalising Generously!

A day later ...

Don’t quite get the story?? Well its slightly an unorthodox way to kick-off this blog.  Rather than beginning with ‘My sweet 16’ story, I’ll start with bad news.  I’m sure you’ve heard the recent case of a dog killing a senior citizen in Subang. This is something that really saddens me.

Courtesy of NST Online

First of all, a life had been taken away in an unlikeliest way one could imagine. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is for the victim's family to accept this. It's probably as traumatising as losing a family member in a murder. It is very sad indeed . My deepest sympathy to the brave family of Yip Sin Hua.

 The moment I heard the news, I also sensed and predicted a huge outcry especially with swerving direction, that will eventually NOT hit the target. Well it came inevitably. The city council of Subang Jaya or MPSJ tried to find a swift and amicable solution to halt such incidence again.  Yes, note that I said TRIED.

They were contemplating to ban restricted dog breeds in Malaysia in order to provide a SAFE and SOUND environment for the public from man-eating dogs. ( Alright, let’s pretend  we don’t know that people are dying from accidents, being stabbed to death, children being kidnapped, armed robberies, snatch thefts, rape, incest, corruption, domestic violence, and all the other evils of society ) . Suddenly dogs are mentioned in the breath as monsters. 

Courtesy of The Star Online

Some newspapers helped the cause, portraying images of dogs showing their fangs, where vampire movie posters were defeated flat.  Some also used various terminologies as if it's a “Caption Contest” . "The beast that killed the man"… "Dangerous animal"…."Canine Nightmare".. and etc.   First of all let’s look at the dogs placed under the restricted list. 

Some of the breeds placed under the restricted category does not even justify why they’re there. For example, the dog closest to my keeping- German Shepherd  dog or GSD.  More commonly known as  Long gao, police dog, polisnai, or anjing polis among the ignorant breed noobs.  Dogs in the restricted list are said to be dangerous breeds.  First of all, why would police use a breed that could be aggressive and of an unstable temperament?  

GSDs are proven to be intelligent, loyal and have sound temperament . Proven as in not since yesterday, but for decades mind you. That’s  exactly why the police use them. I’m not only  talking about the local police but all over the world. There is no single case of a GSD killing a human in Malaysia.  Wait.., there’s not even a single case in the whole world. So why? And now, the talk of banning them had been brewing for sometime.  Ridiculous by all means I know.  Let’s go back to the case. Or I should say the isolated case. The dog involved in mauling the man was a bull terrier mix .  What’s the relation with other innocent dogs? That’s exactly what the cartoon illustration above means.  It's like a man died eating an apple, and all of a sudden, everything related to apple is banned despite the magnitude of ridiculousity it serves.  Generalising much?

Ok fine the bull terrier mix killed the man. But there are so many variables in this case that led this to happen. It wasn’t solely about the dog being bull terrier.  The main reason was negligence of the owner. Bad parenting means, bad children.  Bad owner, equals to bad dog.  As simple as that. Knee-jerk reactions like this won’t solve the problem.  And let’s not even delve into the amount of fine imposed on the perpetrator. That’s a different can of worms. 

Having said all this, I’m not in defence of every single dog out there. I’ve had my fair share. I’ve been chased by dogs when I was young, I’ve seen people falling off their motorbikes under similar circumstances, and more..But that doesn’t make all of them bad. You don’t dry the river because someone drowned.  

Have you seen anything like this in newspaper? No right??

The intervention of Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh and MKA President Larry Yuen to put some sense into this whole outcry was applaudable. There were some logical recommendations made by them to protect the innocent citizens as well as the innocent dogs.

I personally hope the authorities will review its list of restricted dogs and call for harsher penalty for bad dog owners. Ban bad dog owners, not the dogs! I call for dog owners to be responsible and understand a breed’s characteristics and needs before keeping them. I call petshops and breeders to not commercialize dogs with volatile temperament as so-called good guard dogs. That’s a wrong selling point altogether.
While the issue will ebb in time, I hope knee-jerk reactions will no longer be the culture of Malaysians.  And finally, I call for the public ( mostly dog haters) not to jump into this bandwagon that all dogs with tooth are evil. 

But then again, we all want to live in a safer environment don’t we? Fair enough. Let us check out the recent statistics of street and organized crimes in the country. You might want to reconsider your worries, if you initially thought dogs were your worst nightmare. Far fetched? You bet!


  1. A good first post my friend... looking forward for more!

  2. Banning won't solve the problem. Other countries have imposed bans before and have reverted back because it doesn't work.

  3. I don't understand why need to ban all the dogs? Even-though I am Malay and scared of the dogs ( because I had experience being chasing by fierce dog!) but doesn't mean I have to hate the dogs. Dogs are also living thing and have right to stay in this earth. Even in Muslim we being teaching that dog can't be touch but doesn't mean we can just kill it. So many way to prevent this thing, so please find another solution!

  4. 'You don’t dry the river because someone drowned.' the cartoon is hilarious, but I like the metaphor more! anyway, great post!