21 July 2009
Manohara Odelia Pinot -- Part XVI -- The Jakarta Bombings
Some have called my fascination with this case an obsession. I would rather call it just a fascination, the fascination about the making of a celebrity, especially where there are interesting legal issues and points of law arising from what are allegedly a tragic set of circumstances relating to domestic violence.
It seems that Manohara's handlers, and presumably chief among these is her mother, will go to any lengths to ensure that the girl does not miss out on a media and photo opportunity. Most of these appearances seem to be geared to exploiting any nationalist sentiment that Indonesians have with respect to being anti-Malaysian. The carefully managed media opportunities are also designed to take the focus off of Daisy Fajarina and her own serious legal problems including the one where she is allegedly on the run from France for the abuse of a domestic servant. Brett over at Spruiked has his own take on the media coveting matter here.
Mano, as she is known to her friends, decided that Monday was a good day to get over to the MMC hospital in South Jakarta and visit some of the victims of the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel bombings. Mano did not only make these visits by herself, but she went along with her mother and 50 members of her entourage all clad in red and white camouflage gear. Red and white just happens to be the colours of the Indonesian flag. I am all for a little patriotism and being proud in one's country, but is this really the moment for this expression?
The fact that the prime suspect for planning and coordinating the most recent bombings is Malaysian is not enough reason for this kind of circus to occur, particularly when it seems that the trigger men, or suicide bombers if you prefer, are most likely to be Indonesian. In any event, if Mano was really concerned about the health and welfare of the victims she would not have made them participants in the Mano horse and pony show. This hospital appearance was all about self-promotion and promoting the new soap opera she is to star in, Manohara.
The hospital visit followed a visit to the site of the actual bombings and her signing of the memorial canvas.
It is times like these that people look for sincerity in the actions of their celebrities. Unfortunately, Mano's actions here seem to be self-serving and exploiting the grief of others in order to keep her own name in the press (and by posting this blog entry perhaps I am complicit in this vicious cycle). As serious and severe as the alleged physical and sexual assaults were against Manohara, a double bombing is certainly going to bump you from the front couple of pages of the tabloids and out of the main story slot on all the gossip shows.
Cynical, maybe! But, based on what is available it is a reasonable thing to be.
The case will soon return to the substantive issues that first brought Mano to the attention of the masses. The prince has announced that he is pursuing a defamation action against Manohara and her mother for the lies they have spread about him. The prince went on to say that he is also seeking to terminate the marriage and is hopeful of a divorce in the near future.
Some people will do anything to be famous, and once they are famous they seem willing to do whatever it takes to remain so.