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Time to have an Anti-Social Behaviour law
Published on: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

By Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow
THE time has come for the government to take serious steps to push forward a legislation that aims to deter and punish anti-social behaviour in our country especially among children, teenagers and young adults.

This comes after the sad news over the recent death of T. Nhaveen, 18, who was declared by the hospital as brain-dead after he was brutally assaulted and sodomised on June 10 by five youths with crash helmets.

With the death of the victim, the five suspects aged 16 to 19 will now face a murder trial.

According to a medical investigation, the victim had suffered internal bleeding and injuries to his abdomen and private parts. There was also evidence of cigarette burn marks on the victim’s back.

In the, light of this current development, the government must set up an emergency committee at national level to discuss further steps which need to be taken to deal with juvenile delinquency issues in the country.

There have been many reported cases involving juvenile delinquencies in our country lately like bullying, gangsterism, blackmailing, drug abuse, absenteeism and others.

If theses issue are not tackled now, things will go from bad to worse and in the long run, will affect our youngsters and the future of our country.

There are many ways to deal with the ongoing problem such as through education and creating awareness among youth about the importance of being respectful and tolerant towards others.

However, as the problem has become more serious lately, we have no choice but to rely on the powers of the law to control the problem before it goes out of hand.

For the record, in the last few months, our government announced its intention to legislate specific laws to deal with anti-social behaviour in the country.

But until now, there have been no developments on it. It is the hope of many in the country that the Government can be more serious about this intention and push forward with the law.

In drafting the law, our government can refer to the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 (c.38) which was implemented in the United Kingdom where the Act specifically addresses the issue concerning youth truancy, crack houses, false reports of emergency, fireworks, public drunkenness as well as gang activity.

It also specifies steps parents must take to control their own children.

Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow Senior Lecturer Faculty of Syariah and Law Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim)

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