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A 15-year old boy sneaked out of the house during the wee hours of the morning and took a relative’s car key and drove around town. Hit someone’s car and ran away in panic and was chased by a group of motorcyclists and later by the police.

What should the police on patrol do with a speeding car which “hit and run”? The police did not even know who was driving. It could be anyone. They indicated for the car to stop but the boy, knowing his status as a driver without a licence, refused to stop and kept speeding away. What do you expect the police to do? It could be a dangerous criminal in that car. Their lives could be in jeopardy. Put yourself in their position.

The boy was “shot” dead by the police and the uproar by the opportunist politicians and lawyers having an axe to grind with the police was deafening and overblown to say the least. Remember that some quarters have simmering anger at government enforcement agencies for what they deem as conspiratorial and high-handed, a case in point is the tragic death of Ong Beng Hock at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Council (MACC) headquarters premises in Shah Alam Selangor in 2009. It looks like every incident perceived as unjust and high-handed will be politicised to show how uncaring the government is.

And so, due to mounting public pressure, a 48-year old low-ranking policeman has now been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and if convicted will be jailed not more than 30 years! My God! This is harsh. Some people were commenting that the corporal should have been charged with “an inappropriate use of weapon” instead. The implications of the charges should be looked at if one were to assess the gravity of the case. Yes, justice for the dead boy and justice for the policeman.

My heart went out to the policeman who was handcuffed like a criminal. He was just doing his duty under difficult and tense circumstances. He is also a father of four children and it is hard to think that he would still fire the shots at the speeding car had he known that it was driven by a teenager just like his children.

I am also sympathetic with the boy’s family. Yes, you lose a son who broke the law and one who obviously did not listen to you. And this boy who invoked this tragedy and his unfortunate death was vigorously capitalised by special interest people who want to appear as public-friendly as possible for reasons best known to themselves.

And what about the policeman’s family? They are also the victims in this tragedy. What happens if their father is sent to jail? Four young children will lose their father. Come on people, this is also a tragedy. Please consider the social implications for this family as well. The fateful event that was originated by the family who could not control their child, letting him loose with a mean machine he was not supposed to operate and what more, at ungodly hours!

Now they are asking for the police to apologise. Well, well, one can become really arrogant when one thinks that he has the support of many people. Let us turn it around. I think the family of the dead boy should apologise to the wife and children of the policeman. Jenain Subi’s (the policeman) children will suffer emotionally and financially should their father be convicted for doing his work, albeit, over-zealously.

To any family of the “Aminulrasyid of this world”, let us be reminded that our failure to discipline our children could cause undesirable social repercussions and create lifelong emotional baggage. Stop pointing fingers at other people, instead turn those fingers at you and ask what is it that you have done that contribute to this tragic outcome. You certainly are not blame-free.

To all concerned, let there be no repeat of this tragedy.

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