Ever since I was alerted three days ago about the illegal use of an image as an alleged victim in an unsubstantiated accusation, I had been debating with myself whether I should write anything about it at all, whether in this blog or next week in the newspapers. Yesterday, the issue came to a head when everything was revealed publicly that the accusation was false.
Politics in this country is dirty, very dirty. If you have been living under a coconut shell, let me summarise what happened. Back in May, one of those pro-UMNO bloggers twittered that the 16-year-old son of a VVIP in Penang was sexually harrassing a fellow female schoolmate and the issue was being covered up. Then earlier this month, the issue blew up when this accusation started appearing in some pro-UMNO blogs. Somewhere along the line, an image of the alleged victim was pasted up on these blogs.
When I was urged to take a look at this image, I was hugely surprised. The alleged victim wasn't unfamiliar to me. I had seen the picture before, here, except that this picture had been cropped conveniently to hide the truth. This picture was copied from the website of one of the most respectable chess sites in the world. The bastards who had chosen this picture of a woman chess player as their alleged victim had simply pulled it off from the Internet, not caring at all whether or not they were hurting an unsuspecting person.
So now, these pro-UMNO bloggers have been outed and confirmed to be the lowdown unscrupulous life forms of the gutters. How much lower can they go? Have they no sense of dignity? Nothing seems sacred to them. They would go to despicable ends to spread lies for their own ends. Really, they are the scums of the earth. And I know that the scums that they are, they will not bother to retract their baseless accusations and hope that other people will go on and copy them.
As a chess writer in this country and one who has been involved with the national and international chess scene for decades, I have to speak up on behalf of the chess community. I cannot remain quiet as the reputation of an innocent chess player is being sullied here in Malaysia. An innocent foreigner who doesn't even know what's going on. If I were in her shoes or her father's shoes, I would think seriously about seeking retribution against these pro-UMNO scumbags. Bring them to book. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with it so easily.
Let me give some facts to refute their vicious lies:
- Woman chess grandmaster Anya Corke was born in the United States and raised up in Hong Kong. She is the daughter of a Scot father and a Chinese mother. She is not Malaysian.
- Anya Corke is 21 years old today, not 16 years old, and she is studying at the prestigious Wellesley College in Massachusetts, United States since 2009. She is not a Form Four student in a local school in Penang.
- Of course the DAP doesn't know it but Anya Corke's only known visit to Malaysia was in 2005 when she competed in an international chess tournament in Kuala Lumpur (and I'm not even going to say "when" exactly). She has not been to Malaysia since then, and certainly has never set foot in Penang at any time.