14 November, 2007

Noh Omar, what is right and wrong?

School students caught in the Bersih rally will not be expelled. At least they have brains for that. But what Datuk Noh Omar said is that they will be rehabilitated and be taught what is right and wrong. Hmmm....I wonder how is that?

Is showing support for a clean elections a wrong thing to do? What does Noh mean by right and wrong? Clearly from the ruling parties, their version of what and wrong is..."vote us for the next elections" and that will be the right thing to do...."you are wrong if you vote otherwise". That makes it like an on/off switch.

Teaching what is right and wrong is not really teaching in the actual sense. It should be led by example and logical enough for the kids think it is right or wrong. I am afraid what rehabilitation would mean is to bend and knock the minds of these kids into what the ruling party wants them to think. In other words it could possibly be brainwashing. Come on the Minister of Education says it is OK to kiss and wave it around at least once a year.

It is also right (in the eyes of the ruling coalition) that the use of chemical laced water and tear gas to disperse the Bersih rally. 18 kids were arrested so yeah we know they are sort of fine. But what about those that the popo did not arrest and got into contact with the tear gas? Did they consider that? The possibility of hurting minors with tear gas is such a credible thing to do for them I suppose.

I had a whiff of tear gas before and believe me it is not a pleasant thing. Think of it like getting pepper sprayed (actually pepper spray is much more agonizing). It is still painful for a kid anyhow. As for the water cannon, the sheer pressure itself could cause a ruptured spleen and break bones of an adult. Water cannons can also be laced with chemicals that causes the same effect as tear gas. So the possibility of causing hurt to kids is OK I presume?

As for the parents now they should be the one at fault. But again it would be ultimately unjust if the kids in fact acted on their own judgement without the parents knowledge. Very fine thin line to walk here. So assuming these kids will be rehabilitated what we would like to know is exactly how? Are the juvenile correction facility habitable for kids? And how would they be treated exactly?

If all these variables are to be made public and the rehabilitation comes under public scrutiny than by all means do educate these kids of what is right and wrong. However, if in fact these kids are subjected to any brainwashing whatsoever and being lectured on the ruling party's political agenda than suffice to say that will be the most cruel thing of all.

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