Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Indian youth and crime

Concerted and genuine efforts by government needed

The following is a true story of an Indian family that was once such a closely knit one, the parents were such good people who brought their two sons with a lot of love and care. Life for them was very happy until the eldest son was about 15 years old when he started befriending some naughty boys in school who had connections with certain working youths.

Soon he started to lose interests in his studies and his performance in school deteriorated and he became more unruly and stared rebelling against his parents. His relationship with the outside youths became stronger and he started missing school. He failed his SPM and after that was offered a job by the friends who were later found to be involved with certain criminal gangs. Slowly he then became fully incorporated into the gang and that gave his parents terrible agony and nightmares.

Unable to control their son, the parents became depressed and isolated themselves from friends and relatives. In a matter of just a few years a happy and united family was shattered and disintegrated into a chaotic and miserable one by one member going astray.

This is a sad story of one such family. There are many such families in our midst and it is a pity that many Indian families are in such predicament, disintegrated and plagued with extreme distress and agony as their sons on whom they placed their future turns to be a hardcore criminal who could be killed anytime.

The recent controversial killing of 5 alleged members of an underground gang by the police in Penang may be a success for the police in their fight the escalating crime in the country. While there is controversy on the way they were shot but nevertheless 5 young men lost their lives at the peak of their lives as they were all in their twenties. Grieved parents have lost their sons and siblings their bothers.

The elaborate funeral processions that followed for the dead “warriors” came as a shock to all who witnessed them. It is frightening to know that there are so many Indian youth in their early twenties who came out in support of their “heroes” who were shot dead by the police.

The latest statistics reveal that about 70% of the gangsters are Indians although Indians form just 8% of the population. This is indeed alarming and more scary with reports of these gangs are going around to schools to recruit more Indians youths into their fraternity.

This fatal shooting should not be treated as an isolated incident involving hardcore criminals as they were all Indians and the Indian community is now facing the major problem of extremely high crime rate and I fear that unless it is addressed urgently as it may affect the safety of the people at large.

The underlying cause why Indian youths are turning to criminal activities must be seriously looked into. It did not come up overnight but over 5 decades. At a glance it appears to be due to their poverty resulting from years of neglect by the political system in the country. Failures in school, lack of higher education and job opportunities together with wrong attitude and priorities in life and the failure of the Indians community to grasp the hardcore realities in the country.

The government should not brush off these problems as just an Indian one but should tackle it as a national one that threatens the security of the people as a whole. Better educational and job opportunities must be provided for the Indian youths. For those who do not do well in schools, special vocation training should be provided by the government as that would stop the youths from falling into the hands of criminal gangs.

Killing hardcore criminals is just a short term measure to reduce crime but the long term measure is to stop our young men and women from falling prey to criminal gangs. This can only be achieved by proper education, training and providing job opportunities for all especially the neglected and poor Indian Malaysians.

It is time for the government and all parties concerned, especially those involved in Indian affairs to sit down seriously to study the genuine plight of Malaysian Indians. Denying something is seriously wrong is not going to solve the problem but must acknowledge their existence and act to overcome them.

Young Indian youths are increasing being attracted to criminal gangs due to unavailable opportunities for education and jobs especially in the public sector. The government should take the lead to employ more Indians youths in the civil service, police and armed forces where their talents and contributions should be rewarded appropriately like their fellow Malay counterparts.

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