Our youth are becoming bullies by emulating us
By Zan Azlee
In just the last two months, we have seen several gruesome incidents that involved Malaysian youths committing unspeakable acts of violence against each other. It makes one wonder what is going to happen to the future of our society.
The first incident is the case of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi, a student who was beaten and abused at his religious boarding school, and died from his injuries. But not before he had both his legs amputated, was put into an induced coma and almost had to have his arm amputated as well.
It is alleged that Thaqif was beaten with a rubber hose repeatedly. His beatings caused him to get a serious bacterial infection. As for now, his death has been classified as murder and an assistant warden at the school has been detained for investigations.
The second incident is of National Defence University student and navy cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain who was bullied and tortured till he died of his injuries. He was bound, beaten and burnt with a steam iron. Some friends brought him to a clinic, but it was too late.
The third incident, which is the most recent, involved 18-year-old T Nhaveen from Penang. He was going to a burger stall with his friend when a group of school students allegedly attacked him with helmets and beat him up.
He is now dead after being in a coma. Doctors have also confirmed that he was sodomised, and that his genitals were twisted. Apparently, the group of boys were his former schoolmates, and they were teasing him for being so effeminate. Nhaveen was supposed to have started college the following week.
It is worrying to see such violent incidents like these happening so frequently. Is it a reflection of a breakdown in society, in which violence, bullying and gangsterism are the norm and seen as the way to solve problems? What has happened to the conscience of our youth?
Is it any wonder that our youth become like this? We have gangsters and bullies everywhere in Malaysia and our youth are exposed to all of this.
We have adults who seem to be filled with rage whenever they are in a car and in traffic. These road bullies honk, scream, show obscene hand gestures, and even attempt to side-swipe people in their cars. There are those who will even get down and bash people’s cars.
Then we also have gangsters who roam Ramadan bazaars and chase members of the public they don’t like away from the bazaars. We saw this happen with Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong, when he was approached by men and told to leave a bazaar in his own constituency.
We also have sons and supporters of deputy ministers who trespass onto Parliament grounds and assault other MPs who are of different parties, just because they disagree with them. Everyone must still remember the case of Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman who, along with supporters, allegedly assaulted Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad.
Then we have the mother of all instigators, Jamal Yunos and his Red Shirts, who take to the streets to show how strong they are and that non-Malays should be afraid of them. They try to pick fights and put on martial arts displays to try and intimidate people.
With all this happening on a constant basis, is it any wonder that our youth would also emulate such disgusting and uncivilised behaviour when they interact with each other? If as adults, we are not able to provide a good example to the youth, then we cannot blame the youth.
We are stripping our youth of their conscience, and their ability to realise what is right and wrong. We as adults have actually stripped away our own conscience and we don’t care about what is right and wrong anymore, as long as we feel good about ourselves.
If as a society, we propagate a culture of bullying and gangsterism, we only have ourselves to blame when we slowly start to regress as a country. And all the incidents that are happening around us could just be a strong indication that our society is in that regressive phase.
We need to do something about it. We need to show our youth that we are better people and a more civilised society. We can condemn and punish all of these offenders, but the crux of the matter is that we as adults need to start becoming good examples to our youth. That is the only way they will learn.
[This article was written originally for and published at Malaysiakini.com]
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