There was an outcry when Abu Ghraib was exposed. Muslims were humiliated because the perpetrators were white Americans. The US government was forced to bring the culprits to justice. Yet, when Saddam Hussein murdered and tortured thousands of his own countrymen in a decade, his neighbours sat quietly to watch.
Today, in our own country, a local girl is asked to strip naked and humiliated at the hands of the Malaysian police. It was not even a rogue policeman or a bad apple. We now know it is part of a formal procedure in a police lockup to ensure nothing is hidden in the private parts of the girl.
This is not the first time the Malaysian public have heard of cruel police procedures. Many would remember the detailed accounts of the Special Branch in 1999 during the Anwar Ibrahim trials including of what they call "turning over" procedures.
Anwar's speech writer, Pakistan-born Dr Munawar Anees was broken emotionally to the point of a nervous breakdown as a result of the Special Branch's "turning over" methods.
The truth is - it does not matter if one is of communist Chinese citizenry, Muslim, Christian or Hindu. Malaysians should learn to respect each person no matter the other's creed or colour. Each man and woman is created by God and deserving of our respect and best regard. We have had two decades of bigotry, it is time to build bridges rather than tear them down.