When someone becomes a parent, it is by choice and not something that is forced on them. Image source: The Star.
After all, there are many couples who have abstain from having or adopting children simply because they are not ready – emotionally, financially and mentally to take care of children.
For those who have decided to have children, there is a mandatory obligation that they need to take all necessary steps to ensure the kids are well fed; safe and educated (see the earlier posts – Part 1 & Part 2).
Mind you that there are many couples out there who been eagerly waiting to be a parent but yet to be blessed to have children of their own. If you have kids, you are blessed. So don’t screw it up by not taking responsibility to take care of your kids – there is NO two ways about it.
In Malaysia from time to time, unfortunately we hear of such failures on part of parents and lack of any ownership of blame when something happens to their kids.
In 2010, a 14 years old school boy named Aminulrasyid Amzah stole the keys of his parent’s car and with his friends, drove without any license and ended up knocking a car and a motorcycle. When the police and the members of public chased them and asked them to stop, he refused and kept driving. In the end, the he died after the police shot to make him to stop.
It was found that he died from a hail of 22 bullets. Soon there was public outcry and there were support for and against the action of the police. The Selangor police chief even refused to apologise for his men actions and urged the teenager’s family to say sorry instead for parental negligence.
Of course in the end, the case went to the courts and in the Federal Court in 2018 confirmed the earlier decision of the lower courts who found the police guilty of excessive force and the killing were unjustified and the teenager parents were awarded a damage of RM114,800.
In the case of Aminulrasyid Amzah, one can argue that the accusation of bad parenting or parental negligence is may not been correct as this was done outside the knowledge of the parents.
But didn’t the parents be responsible to teach what is right and wrong to their children? Didn’t Aminulrasyid Amzah knew that taking his parent’s car keys without their knowledge was wrong? That driving without valid driving license was wrong? That not stopping when instructed by the police is wrong? What if in the bid to drive away from the police, he hit and killed someone?
Then in 2017, the nation was shocked with another tragedy involving some teenagers – this time 8 teens were dead after they were hit by a car whilst they were racing on the middle of the highway at 3 am.
There was report that 30-40 teens were racing with modified bicycles at that time, blocking the highway and apparently this is not the first the teens have been racing on this part of the road. Image source: The Star. There were huge outcry with some squarely blaming on the parents of these teens and questioning the lack of attention on the activities of their kids given that such racing on modified bicycles is a daily affair.
Shockingly there were also blames on the driver of the car (these must have come from those illegal racers themselves) – questioning if she had been alert enough when driving or have been speeding beyond speed limits at 3 am.
Some even blamed the Government and the society for not doing enough to keep the kids busy with activities (so they got bored) or providing safe, dedicated tracks for these kids to race. I call these kind of people who blame others for their own negligence, lack of discipline and not thinking with brains as leeches of society. These are the troublemakers and the one who keep encouraging such illegal activities to continue.
Anyway the case was referred to the courts and the blame game ended with this court’s verdict:-
The Magistrate’s Court here has ordered the release of a 24-year-old sales promoter who ploughed her car into a group of teenage cyclists, killing eight of them.
“The accused had the right to drive her car, and had driven her vehicle within the speed limit, was not driving while using her phone, was not drunk, and was using a car seat belt,” she said.
Siti Hajar added that the victims, however, had created an unsafe condition for other road users by being at the location.
“It is impossible for the accused to have predicted the whereabouts of the group of teenagers behind the hill at 3am in the morning. The road conditions had also limited the visual distance of the road user,” she said, adding that the group had gathered behind the hill to race on the road that had dim lighting.
She said the victims had also made dangerous modifications to their bicycles by removing the brakes and lowering the seat to the same level as the handlebars.
“The victims also failed to equip themselves with proper safety equipment such as reflective jackets and bicycle helmets. The court would also like to take this opportunity to remind parents that they too could be charged under Section 53 of the Child’s Act 2001 for neglecting their child,” she said.
The court found the victims themselves to be blamed for the accident and death of their friends. The judge also too swipe at the failure by the parents of these kids for negligence.
Justice well done in this case but I feel sorry for the car driver who may need to relive the tragedy for rest of her life. On the other hand, she has done a great service to other road users by eliminating such nuisance from the road although it is an unavoidable accident.
Good thing that the Magistrate saw the sense of this case where the blame of this tragedy falls squarely on the teens who endangered themselves and other road users. What if the death happened the other way around – the driver of the car, trying to avoid these stupid teens and ended up getting killed? Who is to be blamed then?
The problem is these kinds of teens racing in the middle of the road with modified bicycles are not only confined to the state of Johor. Even near my housing area, I have seen a group of 10-15 teens on the modified bicycles, riding in the middle of the road, causing other road users to slam their brakes and avoid hitting them.
What about the parents themselves?
Firstly who gives these teens the money and permission to modify the bicycles? I doubt that the teens could hide their modified bicycles from the parents so one cannot say that the parents were not aware of this. Further there are parents who actively buy and allow illegal modification of the bicycle for their kids – see the above image from Facebook
Secondly why they are not monitoring the activities of their kids – given that this is a normal affair and have been happening for sometime now. What were these kids doing outside, on the road at 3 am? Were not the parents aware of the kids being missing from home?
Back in my childhood, no one dares to be awake after 10 pm and certainly no one dares to sneak out and do nonsense outside the house at 3 am.
Simply because if one is caught and the parents got to know about it, you can imagine this scenario to happen – you get into an accident, drench with blood and injuries all the place, sitting by the road side in pain waiting for the ambulance and you see your dad walking towards you with a huge cane and a really pissed off expression on his face. You know that you are in deep, deep trouble and the pain that you had due to the accident is going to be nothing compared to the thrashing you going to get from your dad.
What happening to the parenting these days?
Close one eye on their responsibilities and when something goes terribly wrong on their kids, blame the society for the failure? It is high time for these parents to be charged with punishment when they are reckless, negligence or where crimes caused by their under aged kids. And for the parents, it is high time to buy that cane to discipline their kids. The same that our parents used to do it when we were small and we did wrong.
Kids with modified bicycles are just one particular example – there are more – from parents leaving their kids to play outside unsupervised, allowing their kids to ride motorcycles around the neighbourhood without any helmet or bike license, zig-zagging around traffic dangerously with their kids in front & pillion without any helmet and more.
As I said, you cannot be a parent if you are unable take care of your kids.
Seriously, please ponder on it…