10 Mar 2014

It's criminal how apathetic we are

Good Article. Reproduce for your information. 

ON Feb 25,  two half-brothers had their throats slit, allegedly by their maid who later killed herself in Sungai Buloh.

On Jan 30, a 44-year-old father allegedly slashed his daughter to death, and injured two others, in Bandar Baru Bangi.

On Jan 21, a single mother was set ablaze by her ex-boyfriend in Sri Rampai, Kuala Lumpur.

Besides other murders, gangland executions, kidnaps, assaults, robberies and snatch thefts, these were among the cases that I've covered since joining the New Straits Times four years ago.

While helping a senior colleague file the story on the double murder-cum-suicide case, I could not help but think, what has become of society?

What has gone wrong? Who should be blamed? Should we blame the government, law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, education system, or even the economy?

It is easy to play the blame game. Many people love to channel their frustration by pointing fingers at others.

You can find evidence of this on the Internet. Social media networks are the best place to see how prevalent this blaming culture is.

Many do not follow the age-old advice that they ought to look at themselves first before pointing fingers at others.

One example that best illustrates this point can be gleaned from the Spiderman movie released in 2002.

At the beginning of the film, the protagonist Peter Parker (played by Tobey Maquire), who had just acquired his special ability and strength, entered a wrestling match and won.

However, when he was denied adequate payment, he allowed a robber to take off with the event organiser's cash even though he could have easily taken down the bad guy.

At the end of the scene, Peter's uncle was killed by the fleeing robber. Peter Parker's inaction had an instantaneous, unfortunate outcome.

Our problems today are the result of a similar attitude among society -- inaction and selfishness. We adopt a wait and see attitude, let others act while we do nothing.

To curb crime, we have law enforcement agencies, laws and regulations, and rehabilitation organisations. However, what's more important is for us -- society -- to play our role.

For a car's engine to run, it would need a working carburetor (or fuel injector) to supply adequate fuel. It's the same with the nation's criminal justice system.

The judiciary and law enforcement agencies, like the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Immigration Department, and Customs, are the engine and society is the carburetor.

Without adequate support from society, it will be difficult for these agencies to run smoothly. Let's ask ourselves this -- how many times have we seen suspicious characters loitering about but choose to shut our doors and not inform the authorities?

How many times have we seen drunk drivers on the road, but just stayed clear of them without lodging a report with the traffic police?

When we learn about teenagers abusing drugs, do we point them to a rehabilitation centre, or do we just advise our own kids not to mingle with addicts?

Do we lodge a report or advise a civil servant against bribery, or do we ourselves pass money under the table to make our lives easier?

How many times have we shut the door of opportunity to make the world a better place? This is what society has become.

We are self-centric, it's always "my life is my life, yours is yours".

But what if our inaction results in our lives or that of our loved ones being compromised? The drunk driver might one day ram your spouse's car.

The suspicious character you ignored might break into your neighbour's house and start a fire, which eventually burns down your house.

The teenagers with drug problems might start pushing drugs and eventually influence your kids to abuse drugs.

Or he might stab your child and steal his iPad so that he can sell it for money to buy a few grams of meth.

The law enforcer you bribed might years later let loose a big-time criminal who then preys on society.

This is a small world. What we do affects others. And what others do will, in the end, affect us.

In some instances, there's only so much that we can do, but in most cases, crime can be foiled if we stand united against it. Let us make a difference.

Source: It's criminal how apathetic we are - Columnist - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/it-s-criminal-how-apathetic-we-are-1.503225#ixzz2vXhfUWo6

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