I have heard on the radio in the early hours of the morning (GMT) that the Sun newspaper will pay £200 per buffalo so that they can be sacrificed in order that the backpackers detained in Malaysia can be released. You may have heard about these backpackers who stripped off at the top of a sacred mountain and took photographs of themselves. They also apparently urinated on the mountain. There were told by a guide not to do it but they ignored his warnings.
I’ve heard on radio this morning but cannot find a confirmatory article online that the Sun newspaper has offered to pay for the sacrifice of buffaloes as a way of appeasing the gods who inhabit the mountain. Gods were unhappy at the behaviour of these backpackers and caused an earthquake some days later. The locals are upset and want to appease the Gods.
I just want to remark on this if the story is correct. It is completely improper and immoral to kill animals because of the inappropriate behaviour of tourists. If the tourists have done something wrong they should pay for it. Apparently, they could be jailed for three months on conviction. Apparently, some of them said that did not know they were doing wrong. This contradicts what we are told, that they were warned by a guide.
If they have done wrong and have ignored the customs of the country in which they are trekking then they should be punished under the law of that country and a newspaper should not be getting involved like this in paying for the sacrificial slaughter of innocent animals so that they can, in effect, cheaply buy a news story for their seedy newspaper.
If the story is correct, I hope that there is an outcry by animal lovers to stop this suggested sacrifice of buffaloes taking place. It is about time that people stopped passing the buck onto animals for their misdeeds. It happens all the time. I’m referring to the persecution of feral cats across the globe. Feral cats are our problem and it is about time we accepted that. There are many other examples of people punishing and hurting animals for the misdeed of humans.
My personal view on whether the backpackers should be punished or not is that they should be criticised for being disrespectful of local customs but not turned into criminals. I don’t see this as a criminal matter and I don’t believe it does Malaysia any favors to prosecute them. Bad for tourism.