We need to care more about terrorist attacks on Jakarta than Alan Rickman’s passing

I don’t get it. I really don’t. I know Alan Rickman did a fairly good job of bringing Professor Snape to life on the silver screen. He was only 69 when he passed away. Yes. A talented person gone too soon. I agree that that is something to get emo over. On any other day, I wouldn’t have thought anything about seeing my Facebook feed plastered with status updates about him or people sharing news articles about his passing.

But Alan Rickman passed away on the same day that Jakarta was rocked by terrorist attacks. A number of bombs went off in various places in Jakarta. After that, a number gunshots were heard. A Canadian and an Indonesian civilian were killed, 15 civilians and five police officers were injured by the blasts. Five assailants were also reported to have been killed by the Indonesian police. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Why aren’t more people posting about the terrorist attacks in Jakarta? I remember how my Facebook feed was almost entirely flooded by people talking about Paris after the terrorist attacks in Paris last year. Why hasn’t Facebook come up with something to let people superimpose the Indonesian flag on their profile picture like what they did last year after the Paris attacks?

Ok… perhaps it’s because a lot more innocent civilian lives were lost that night (total of 130) and even more were injured (total of 369, with 80 to 98 being seriously wounded). So I can understand if the Paris attacks caught greater international attention compared to the Jakarta attacks. So fine. Not enough people of the right skin colour died and got hurt for Facebook to do anything on a global scale.

But how can it be that we, here in Singapore, are so blissfully unconcerned about the attacks in Jakarta? Why isn’t news about the Jakarta attacks “trending” on social media instead of Alan Rickman’s death? You know… you see that little icon on top of posts about Alan Rickman’s death that tells you that that topic is trending. But do you see that for posts about the Jakarta attacks (if you see any of those on you Facebook feed at all)?

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, our neighbour. Indonesia is the biggest country in the region. Many Indonesians work here. Some of us may even have Indonesian FDWs working in our homes. And even if we don’t know any Indonesians personally, why aren’t we shocked, upset and angered by the senseless acts of violence perpetrated by a bunch of deluded people? How can we not be saddened by the fact that two lives were abruptly cut short in such a violent and senseless matter? Then why is it that this attack doesn’t seem to get our attention as much as Alan Rickman’s passing?

This attack is a reminder that the threat is very real and can be very close to home. If we don’t remain vigilant, it might even happen here. This is something we need to be concerned about. More so than showing how sad and emo about Alan Rickman’s passing, we need to show that we will stand by the Indonesian people in solidarity against terrorists. We shall not be cowed. We shall not be afraid. Kami tidak takut!


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