Sunday, December 30, 2012


By Mansor Puteh

It is interesting to learn that the British authorities are now trying to find ways to charge the two Australian radio DJs for the death of a British-Indian nurse with their practical pranks, which had gone awry.

The two DJs could be the flavor of the week and toasted by everybody, with them lauding the duo for their originality for pulling such a prank. They might even get a pay raise and be promoted if that had happened.

And they would even do other new pranks on other unsuspecting persons anywhere in the world for their radio station and program to get more cheap laughs at other people’s expense.

There would be a lot of things that they could come up with. The possibilities are endless, until someone suffers from one of their pranks and dies, before they find their pranks to be utterly tasteless.

Unfortunately, their first-time out as practical pranksters had proven to be disastrous, causing the death of an unsuspecting British-Indian nurse, for which the two DJs in Australia now have to face the music.

They didn’t seem to realize that not many British like Australian-style practical jokes or jokes of any kind; they are crude and rude and the language they use to be coarse.    

Australian jokes and jokers can never be exported out of Australia. They are for local consumption only.

In fact, British jokes, too, are not favored by those outside of Britain, including in Malaysia except for ‘Mind the language’ program which enjoyed a bit of success when it was shown on television here.

I did not quite like ‘Mr. Bean’ because he is like an Australian joker. He is not funny. He makes fun of the mentally disabled. 

In fact, even the British too wouldn’t mind with such pranks by the two Australian DJs, if the nurse had not gone too far away to take her own life and leaving a suicide note implicating the two DJs.

If she had not done so, then surely, the whole matter would have been left to all sorts of speculation on her own personal weaknesses, with her solely blamed for her actions, being an adult.

What if she had not been Indian, but an English woman, would she have gone on to do it? Maybe not.

The English nurse would just blame the DJs and get wide coverage in the papers, with many of the readers and members of the public chiding her for not being able to take a prank like an adult.

It is just too bad that somebody has to die, before the matter concerning pranks or practical jokes could be proved to be useless and now, even harmful or even deadly.

A British-Indian nurse working in a hospital in London proved that this was so.

Her only mistake was for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, when the DJs called and she had to take it, and to also forward it to the other nurse who divulged the information on Kate Middleton who was then warded in the hospital.

But how come the telephone operator of the hospital is totally aloof to this whole controversy? After all, she was the person who had forwarded the call from all way from Sydney, Australia to the Indian nurse?

Didn’t she know that the call was a long distance one, so it could not have come from Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth at the other end of the line?

The operator so far has managed to escape being dragged into the controversy. She is not out of it. She was careless by not taking extra care to seek verification on who had made the call, if it had indeed been from the Palace.

There was another prank call made by an imposter who called the White House and pretended to be an ambassador of Pakistan or an Arab country, and he got through to the then President George Bush who took the call.

However, only later did he and the White House realize that they had been tricked.

Fortunately, no one died in such a prank, so may be afterwards new procedures had to be created and introduced to ensure that no prank and unnecessary calls from sources that are not confirmed, could go to the president.

Maybe they have introduced a system whereby such calls are returned by the White House, to ensure that the number is legitimate.

Surely, the operators could see any phone number from an incoming call, to know if they are good numbers.

And now we are hearing condemnations on the two Australian radio DJs for pulling such a prank, which they thought was original and deserving of some respect. They must surely have thought that their program would become a national hit, and their masters offering them new pay and promotions.

But alas this did not happen.

The two DJs have to hide themselves after their program was pulled from the air. They apologized to the family of their victim.

Yes, the Indian woman was indeed their victim; she died from their pranks. So even though they were not personally responsible for her death, yet, they can still be charged for personally responsible for her death.

They can be severely punished, as there have been cases in the past when death of innocent individuals had happened due to the pranks of others.

One such case I remember involving a young sixteen-year-old American girl who removed a road sign at a tee-junction.

A motorist drove straight at the junction because he didn’t realize that he had to stop. The vehicle he was driving at such a high speed crashed causing his death.

The authorities in America investigated and found out about the missing road sign, which they later learnt was due to the prank of the young girl.

She was charged in court and sentenced to sixteen years in jail for causing the death of the motorist.

What the two Australian DJs had done is similar to what the sixteen-year-old American girl had done. She was sentenced to jail and so the two DJs too must face the same music.

The case is straight and simple.

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