Saturday, December 1, 2007
The Illegal Immigrant
Locked out of your house by accident? Just call Illegal Immigrants Inc, the housebreaking experts. All it will cost you is a few packs of Gudang Garam... and maybe your brand new cellular phone.
Precisely who are we calling an Illegal Immigrant? It's those rough-and-ready characters from 'a neighbouring country' (as the New Straits Times, in the interest of good ASEAN relations, euphemistically puts it). Anyway, this whole affair is Clint Eastwood's fault. After the Jakarta police force saw Dirty Harry some of them took the law into their own hands and started exterminating every hardcore criminal in sight. Sure, that curbed the crime wave in Jakarta - but over here the crime rate soon shot up.
At least half the time, I'd wager, the poor Illegal Immigrant has been made a scapegoat. After all, he looks exactly like one of us. But there's no denying that these infamous foreigners have mastered a fascinating housebreaking technique called pukau. It's a closely guarded secret, involving the use of black magic to put prospective victims to sleep or paralyse them. If the magic fails the victims end up bound and gagged with their own bedclothes.
When the Illegal Immigrant isn't breaking into houses, he's building them. Most of them can be found crammed into makeshift barracks on construction sites, working on high-rise projects for very low wages. No wonder they get into bloody knife brawls so often. The ones that have managed to save some money or get married to a local usually set up small businesses as hawkers and petty traders. If the Illegal Immigrant is extraordinarily lucky and arrives a few weeks before a general election he might even be offered instant citizenship on the spot - on condition he helps canvass votes for the ruling party.
He's audacious and hotheaded in a tight corner - but hardy and resourceful when given half the chance. Just like all immigrants. The fact that he's here is an indirect compliment to the country: it obviously looked like a Land of Boundless Opportunity to him. I wonder if he's sending for the rest of his family. Not immediately, I should think. Who wants to see his kid sister beaten black-and-blue by a sadistic employer or raped while in police custody?
Anyhow it was inevitable that the Illegal Immigrant would arrive to fill the vacuum in the blue-collar crime market. Our own homegrown criminals have long graduated to more sophisticated forms of multi-billion-ringgit white-collar thuggery and skullduggery. But over here they don't use pukau, they employ the mass media.