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Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Thursday, December 23, 2010 @ 8:43 am

Dear Blogger,

Once again, Malays in Singapore are in the news for the wrong reason. Maybe that's too harsh. Still, one can't help but question after reading The Straits Times today, why this problem is prevalent in the Malay community.

I'm referring to the murder of 3-year-old boy, Danish Iman Abdullah by his mother's friend. I believe this is the 6th such case to involve children unnecessarily ripped off their lives by family members or family friends and all of them were Malays. For those who aren't aware of the case, you can read the article here at AsiaOne.

You don't need to be educated or well-off or even Malay, Chinese, Tamil, whatever to know that killing another human being is wrong! A child is a human being! A child is not from another species or a being from another planet. A child commands the same respect as a full-grown adult. A child may even be more mature than some adults I know!

The accused may blame his lack of financial security, education, upbringing or mental capacity, but all this is irrelevant because respect of another human being's life is one of the basis of being human! That's what separates us from all the other species in the animal kingdom. The ability to think is also what separates us from all other God's creatures.

In any case, God forbid if he pleads innocence due to insanity. He is insane alright but not because he suffers from any mental illness. I believe he was of sound mind when he hit the boy till the toddler suffered head injuries. The boy is 3-year-old damn it! He shouldn't have been hit in the head. He shouldn't even be slapped.

So where is the mother when this was happening? God knows. The newspaper report did not say. What we do know is that the mother was very young, 22 years old, and probably separated from the boy's father.

A product of young marriages (I don't know if she married as a teenager), whether by consent or by force, almost always the children of these marriages end up either being abused or grow up to do what their parents did. They leave school early, get into some kind of legal trouble, impregnate some girls and marry. It's a vicious cycle!

I have never approved of young marriages because young people are simply not mentally ready to take on the responsibilities of being spouses and parents. Marriage, at whatever age, should never be taken lightly. It is a commitment and commitment means it is serious business.

Some parents make the mistake of marrying off their daughters, especially when the latter become pregnant, simply to save face. What faces are there to save? This is such a short-term act that hardly anybody thinks about the long-term effect. The practice of saving face should be eradicated because it usually does more harm than good.

All these people care about is what the neighbours will think. The neighbours aren't living your life. They don't know your ups and downs. They don't feed you. They don't even come out from your womb! It's your offspring that you should care about. Not about what other people will think of you!

Malays in Singapore are very good at "saving faces" to the extent that they don't mind selling off their daughters like at an auction. Parents, please do not use marriage to save your faces. Marriage is not an end to your humiliation. What your daughters need from you is your support and guidance. They don't need you to ship them off to the Registry of Marriages.

Whether or not Danish Iman Abdullah will live out of this vicious cycle, we will never know. He will never have the chance to feel the anxiety pangs of the PSLE or the GCE level examinations. He will never have the chance to fall in and out of love. He will never have the chance to get excited over his first pay cheque. All because he did something naughty like any other child would and he was punished with his life for that.

Some people have told me that I am anti-Malay. I do have feelings of dissatisfaction and disapproval about certain things about my fellow race every now and then. At one point in my life, when I was much, much younger, I had even tried to disassociate myself from my race. Why? I was disillusioned about what it was to be Malay.

Anyway, I am not anti-Malay. I am just heavily critical about Malays. We should criticise ourselves first before we do the same to others. Why should we envy the Chinese for their economical prowess when we are not doing much to help ourselves in that direction? Why should we look down on the Indians when they are progressing so rapidly in every sector of society that they are now richer than us?

Being Malay and living in a Malay-dominated region does not give us the right to sit on our laurels. Our culture is not a lazy culture. Historically, we excelled in the arts and gracious mannerisms, but that does not mean we are weak. Use our strengths to progress as a community. Let go of our racist perceptions and sour grapes mentality because we think we are not given the same opportunity to succeed as the other races do. All of these are challenges that we should embrace.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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