Much has been said about the love of a mother for her offsprings and the lengths that mothers will go through to ensure their children’s collective safety and well-being. As for the father, not much has been said or heard of him over the years, what with increasing economic development activities placing more and more demands on the father as head of the family.
Lately, the spotlight have shifted back to the father, with Malaysian fathers accepting the spotlight, I believe, VERY, VERY reluctantly. Over the last few years, Malaysians have witnessed fathers making statements to the public, some in defence of their sons with some demanding justice on their behalf, whilst some had to come forward and apologised for the misdeeds of their sons and the controversies they have cooked up.
In my last posting, ‘Of the Olympics and of the Idiots’, reference was made to the latest moronic antics of one Wee Meng Cheong aka Namewee. Malaysians remember very well Namewee’s first sojourn into the World of Moronic Antics when he released on Youtube a video of himself making fun of the national anthem, Negara Ku (loosely translated as ‘My Country’) whilst still being a student in Taiwan. The ensuing uproar forced his father to step forward and apologised for his son’s misdeed.
That was then. But apparently whilst some learn from their mistakes, Namewee did not, what with his latest antic drawing the wrath of the Chinese. It is good to see Namewee’s father, this time around, not apologising for his dimwit of a son’s antics. I hope it is not because of the money that Namewee has earned from his involvement in the local Chinese movie scene or that the father condoning the action of his rather mischievous son but rather of the father’s determination to make his son learn a lesson and that is you reap what you sow and if you want to offend 1 billion Chinese nationals, then you are on your own, dummkopf (the Germanic version of ‘ass****’ sounds so much better than the English version and rather less offensive, doesn’t it?). Tough love, some might call it.
The latest father that came into prominence, for the wrong reason I might add, made the following statement : ‘I sincerely apologised on behalf of my son. I don’t know what got into him.’ His son’s misdeed? His 19-years old son gained instant notoriety when a video of him ‘mooning’ (nope, nothing to do with the Moon itself) and stepping on the portraits of the Malaysian Prime Minister, his wife and one of the country’s top civil servants, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof who happens to be the Chairman of Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia (SPR) or the Election Commission, went viral on the Internet.
For non-Malaysians, they might wonder what is the fuss all about? After all, stepping on portraits of national leaders and burning of national flags have been a norm both in Europe and America. But for Malaysians and dare I say, for most Asians as well, this action went against all norms of good behaviour and is deemed alien to Malaysian culture, regardless of your political and religious affiliation. A sign of downright insolence, some might say and insolence is VERY, VERY bad word for us Malaysians here.
The act of insolence was recorded during a ‘Janji Demokrasi’ rally held on the eve of the 55th Merdeka (or Independence) Day celebrations, a rally organised by the same bunch of people behind the ‘Bersih’ and ‘Himpunan Hijau’ rallies. It doesn’t take an Einstein to see that although the theme of the rallies may be different, but with similar characters behind the scenes, we can expect more of the same as what happened during the ‘Bersih’ and ‘Himpunan Hijau’ rallies. This time it was Maria Chin Abdullah who drew the short straw and was named as chief organiser. A step-up from being secretary to the Bersih steering committee and dare I say it, a promotion perhaps?
As is the case with the ‘Bersih’ and ‘Himpunan Hijau’ rallies, nothing but controversy resulted from the Janji Demokrasi rally organized by this group of so-called enlightened social and political activists and as a result, numerous police reports of complaints were made. As a result, the Royal Malaysian Police released pictures of people of interest (to the Royal Malaysian Police, that is) with an invitation to turn themselves in before they are brought in.
But back to the poor father. After realising what his son had done, the family, after the initial shock subsided, decided to turn him over to the Royal Malaysian Police. For this we must commend the father and his family. The values of old based on honour, good behaviour, mutual respect and common decency, won the day, in my view. Being a parent myself, my heart goes out to the boy’s father, his mother and his family when coming to terms with what their son had done, and realising deep down in their hearts what had to be done. It would have gutted them inside and a very hard decision to make, for no parent wants their children to go through pain and suffering or admit that their offspring has done something terribly, terribly wrong.
‘I know my son. He is a good boy who is hardworking and respectful. We suspect he was carried away with the mood of the event, and spurred on by others, did what he did. This is an example why youngsters should choose their friends carefully and think before they act.’
Knowing who organized the rally, its pretty clear what the prevalent mood was then and it seems to be an open invitation to be as insolent as you can, as uncouth as you can, and as rude as you can. Not much has changed there.
As for the son, he was a student in his 3rd semester of his creative multimedia course at Cybernetics International College of Technology. Being a private college, their tuition fees can be expected to be considerable compared to the tuition fees of public universities and colleges. Whats sad is that the imperative word here is ‘WAS’. You reap what you sow and as a result of his actions, he was expelled following an emergency meeting of the College’s academic staff and disciplinary board (it has been a long time since the word ‘DISCIPLINE’ made an appearance and a welcomed one at that).
Lessons to be learnt here for all of us who wants to, and one which may include the much maligned University Colleges and Colleges Act (UCCA) – does it really need to be amended? Shouldn’t its current form be retained if not just to protect unknowing students from being dragged to functions or gatherings, and in the process become victims of someone elses’ agenda? If anything, the wisdom behind the formulation of the Act is now coming to the fore. Something to ponder, truly.
As for the son, what else can you say? Youngsters do not take too kindly to having older folks (read that as anybody older than these youngsters) sermonizing on good behaviour. They believe in the new mantra that youth is IN, to the exclusion of everything else .
But whatever is IN or NOT IN, experience has taught us that values of old based on honour, good behaviour, mutual respect and common decency will always be relevant. The boy will have to learn his own lessons and come to terms with what he had done to exorcise the demons that will haunt him, especially whenever he look at the faces of his father and mother, knowing what he had put them through one moment of sheer madness. BUT if any of what the father said rings true, then the son would have learnt his lesson and learnt his lesson well, and not again jeopardise his future needlessly away at the prompting of a few ‘friends’.