Visitor No since 22-10-98
Society has role to play in protecting children Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 February 2013

The Star

I REFER to “Time to prosecute negligent parents” (Sunday Star, Feb 3) by Roger Tan.

While it may seem logical that the responsibility of protecting a child lies on the shoulders of his/her parents, I believe the Government and society as a whole too play an important role in protecting these children.

I am saddened by the statistics where on average, 15 people are reported missing daily but are we to put the blame and point fingers solely at the missing people’s caretakers.

What kind of society are we living in today when it’s not safe for a child to walk to the playground alone, walk home from school alone, or even be left in the car alone for 15 minutes while the parents go off to the shops?

I remember when I was young, I had no problems walking around the neighbourhood to the playground, cycle from home to town or to the park nearby without supervision, and even wait in the car alone for 15 minutes while my parents went to buy some groceries.

What has changed now is that a child can never be left to do those things alone without having the parents being blamed and called negligent.

We need to look at the bigger picture on why these things are happening rampantly in our society and start taking serious action, not just taking the easy way out by putting the blame on parents.

The police force, which spends more than 50% of its budget for management and logistics, needs to review its system and ensure the security of the citizens.

The income disparity in our society is growing even bigger as the rich become richer and the poor become poorer.

Over the last three decades, the demographic of our society has also changed a lot with an increasing number of poorly paid foreign workers and illegal immigrants entering our country.

The increase in the number of poor in our society is also one of the reasons for the higher crime rate.

The Government has to take responsibility as its policies and governance has allowed society to be transformed into what it is today.

So, while I agree that parents are responsible for their children, I find it harsh to punish parents who are not fully responsible for the way society has changed and the lack of security provided from the government of the day.

DAN LEE
Putra Heights, Selangor

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