|The Star 2nd Aug 2011|
The irony was that they and their parents were only told that the children would be sent for a motivation camp, not where they were being sent to.
Imagine the students' shock when they discovered that the Kluang Prison was where the camp was to be held! They were also told to shave each other's head. Some have since alleged that they were physically abused.
As expected, the Prisons Department has denied that there was any physical abuse on the students concerned.
But what the Education Director-General, Datuk Abd Ghaffar, was quoted by the Star newspaper (3rd Aug 2011) to have said on the matter takes the cake. He was quoted to have said:
It is aimed at instilling self-confidence in the students by exposing them to the dangers of misusing drugs as well as crime prevention.To add insult to injury, no less than Suhakam (Malaysia's Human Rights Commission) commissioner James Nayagam has come up in support, being quoted to have said, by the same paper, that exposing students to life in prison would help prevent them from committing crimes in the future. Datuk James of all people should know better.
Sending children, even naughty school students, to prison for a motivation camp for no other reason than to instill discipline is an abuse.
What proof is there that naughty children would not commit crimes if they have had a taste of prison life?
If it were so simple, then the Malaysian Education Department should just include life in prison as a
A reader was also quoted to have said:
What is there to complain about? If you don't know how to guide and teach your kids, let the wardens do their job.So, if parents can't disciple their children, then leave it to the schools and if the schools can't disciple them, leave it to the wardens?
And if everyone else fails, what now? Send the naughty ones to prison?
My, my, how irresponsible can parents be? And by the way, the prison wardens' job is not to babysit your naughty children. Their job is to run the prison.
Luckily, there are still some sane people around. Even tough boys school Monfort Boys Town public affairs head James Loo was quoted to have said that other methods should be used to rehabilitate naughty students.
And I would like to leave readers with what Yayasan Salam Malaysia general manager, Dr Hartini Zainuddin, was quoted to have said after expressing her outrage at the news that the 33 naughty students had been sent for a motivation course in prison:
They are violating the Child Act, Federal Constituion and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, among others.They will not achieve anything by trying to instill fear in these children