Parents of these eight kids are responsible for their deaths
Published on: Sunday, March 22, 2020
By: Patrick Teh
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Not too long ago a Magistrate’s Court ordered the release of Sam Ke Ting, 24, the sales promoter who hit a group of teenage cyclists, killing eight of them on Feb 18,2017, after finding that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against her.

The magistrate not only delivered an honourable judgment but also a reminder to all parents that “they too could be charged under Section 53 of the Child’s Act 2001 for neglecting their child”.

I sympathise with the eight innocent children who died in the 3am accident in Johor two years ago.

 The area where the accident occurred is a hot spot for mat lajak groups who perform their riding stunts there in the wee hours.

 Despite many complaints lodged by the public, no proper actions were taken by the parents concerned to stop their children from taking part in such activities.

Some parents overlook the importance of harnessing their children’s innate curiosity and intelligence and fail to mould their characters in the right manner during their formative years. 

This could deprive children of the opportunity to develop their learning abilities to the optimal level and subsequently turn them into misbehaving adults. 

Many of the stunt riders in our society are neglected children who are left to their own devices while their parents are busy with their work.

It is important for parents to be good role models. 

However, there are parents who blatantly break the law, for instance by carrying two children between them on a motorcycle.

They are also many parents who allow their children to ride motorcycles without a valid licence. Students are among these fearless offenders of road traffic rules. 

Still in their school uniforms and without wearing safety helmets, they ride at breakneck speed and perform stunts on busy roads.

When parents allow these things to happen, isn’t this a licence for their children to break the law? No wonder children as young as nine years old are daring enough to join their elder peers in becoming stunt riders.

 Once they are 16 years old, chances are they would upgrade to the rank of mat rempit.

I believe that if the law enforcement authorities had taken serious action on the mat rempit menace a decade ago, it wouldn’t be so rampant now. 

Unless stern action is taken on parents who neglect their children, resulting in them being involved in delinquent activities like mat lajak, there will come a day when the authorities will be overburdened by an increasing crime index.

To tackle the stunt-riding menace effectively, the authorities must get to the root causes of the problem and nip them in the bud. 

This includes educating the parents concerned of their responsibility in bringing up their children properly.


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