Is current running through my computer casing necessarily a bad thing?

I know this question seems obvious, but read on.

I currently moved to India and brought my laptop from the USA (Apple 12" PowerBook G4). India isn’t known for its excellent electrical wiring (230 Volts, 50 Hz).

I initially attempted to plug my laptop into a faulty power strip where the electrical wire for the grounding plug was penetrated by a casing screw. When I touched the metal end of the plug that connects to the laptop itself, I got a nasty little shock. Needless to say, i didn’t use that power strip.

Now I plug my laptop into a ‘Surge protector’. And when I slightly touch the metallic parts of the computer when it’s plugged in, I get a little buzz of current going through me. However, if i touch it very firmly, the current stops (or at least feels like it has stopped). And if I touch the plastic parts (such as the keyboard, there is no current). Also, when I wear rubber sandals, there is no current or it is significantly reduced. My cousin and I have assumed it’s a problem with the grounding and have hired an electrician to fix it, but that may be another week before it happens.

Nevertheless, I’m an webaholic, and still plug in it. However, I unplug it whenever I can and use the battery as much as possible. But it needs it’s regular chargings. So far (about a week) nothing has happened to my laptop (at least that I can tell).

Should I stop this? Am I being insane by thinking this is benign? Obviously, none of these problems happened in the USA, even when using a non-grounded plug (which laptops seem to default to anyway).

On a related note for anyone else in India or using similar electrical systems:

Do you plug your computer into a voltage stabilizer? I’ve read that this should be done, but many of the locals dismiss it. Or should I use something else? All the A/C units here (at least in hotels) that I’ve seen have used voltage stabilizers, so I figure that computers should too.

If not, the case voltage is something you definitely want to get rid of.
Since the voltage hasn’t wrecked it yet, limited use, until the electrician fixes it, probably won’t make things worse. Then again, it’d be painful to see a tiny puff of smoke and a blank screen an hour before the repairman appears.

IANAElectrician, but this sounds like a problem with the laptop itself. The charger should be converting AC from the wall into DC to run the laptop, isolating your computer from the house current. The laptops I’ve used aren’t grounded through the charger.

If this problem didn’t happen in the US, could it have something to do with the temperature or humidity?