Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Plumbing Depths of Tastelessness

The hunt for missing child Sharlinie Mohd Nashar has turned into a real dog and pony show with members of the public phoning in false leads, a dubious clairvoyant mathematician (who has clearly been watching Numb3rs!) turning up to steal the limelight ... and now an unscrupulous local publisher cashing in on the act.

Darshini Kandasamy in today's Malay Mail (which I can't link to online since no-one has updated the website for weeks) picked up the story from a reader who said that she was:

... shocked and disgusted ...

when she saw the book Di Mana Sharlinie? (Where is Sharlini?) in a bookshop in Bangsar because :
... her parents are in pain, worrying about their daughter, yet this book publisher is cashing in on their sorrow ...
The 40 page book in Bahasa Malaysia is a compilation of news items about the five year old's disappearance and includes:
... findings of a psychic as to why Sharlinie was taken ...
as well as the particularly insensitive faux film poster of Sharlinie with another missing girl Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, which is featured in the newspaper.

The publisher Penerbitan Karang Media cannot be contacted and there is no authors name, although the book was "arranged" (whatever that means) by "Bob Sri Menanti" and "Ron Sikana", who likewise have left no trace. The book clearly had no ISBN.

(Hmm, the cheques from the sales must be going ... somewhere!)

I have to say that this publication plumbs new depths of tastelessness and one wonders just why any bookshop decided to sell it in the first place! If people don't buy it and booksellers don't stock it, someone is going to lose all their money. (What a shame.)

Actually isn't it sad how a case like this brings out the ugliest side of human nature ... and we aren't just talking about the abductor.

Update (21/2/08) :

The story makes front page news today (and is online) and Sharlinie's father is interviewed about the book. He wasn't approached for permission and is deeply upset by the suggestion that his daughter will meet the same fate as Nurin. He is considering legal action. But does he really need this on top of everything else he is having to put up with?

*(Now which would that be? Can't be Silverfish. I wouldn't think MPH. Might be one of the mamak newsgents in Lucky Garden. Actually we want to know - why the coyness?)


Greenbottle said...

and to add salt to injury

"Police stop search for missing girl because of the General Election..."

read roky's bru blog for details

oh by the way all you good people...


GUO SHAO-HUA said...

people have a sick fascination with things sometimes.

once, an acquaintance forwarded an email containing pictures of a rape and murder victim. i refused to look at the pictures, and i noticed she forwarded it to a whole bunch of people.

i was pissed off and asked her why she was so fascinated with such pictures. she tried to justify it by saying she thinks it will help to deter the crime and help women to be more careful.

i said WTF??? there are surely other more effective means to that end. i gave her a piece of my mind and asked her how she would feel if that were her own daughter.

needless to say, she shut the fuck up.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I mean sure you write, but to attempt to capitalize on someone's tragedy, that's just sad.

Naziehah said...

When at the forefront of the mind is nothing else - but money.

I also agree with you about them not revealing names of the shop. Why do they always do that?

spectacularwave said...

I totally agree. And I never like the idea of people writing or compiling 'instant' books when something happened, be it a celebrity wedding, or a tragedy.

It's like pointing out the obvious, hurting people more (in the case of tragedy) and making money 'undignifiedly'.