Educating Our Youth

I am telling this story the way it happened. Anyone attempting to turn this into anything else will have their comments removed. I have lost a lot of money and been through many unnecessary and traumatic experiences because there are people who believe they are entitled to get things without working for them. Check my title for what is missing from our education system.

This is just a story. You will take from this story what you want. It’s a long story. One day I am hoping it will serve to educate our educators, our politicians, and our parents that we have done our children a great disservice. We taught entitlement as a value, instead of teaching respect for the personal space and property of others. It should be, that I get to keep what is mine and hold onto those things I worked for. It should be my right to feel safe in my country. Our education system is to blame that I’m not.

We have failed our young Malay lads in our schools. Why I have singled out Malay young lads is because these lads have had so much religiosity in school but have still not been given the right education. I know that the words ‘kurang ajar’ are extremely sensitive to Malay parents, and that they take such an insult, very personally. I remember a student in Form 3, back when I was a teacher, who lifted a chair to the discipline teacher because he said that the teacher had insulted his parents by calling him that. Later on, when I went to pick him up from the police lock-up, he made me promise I would not call his parents. He was sobbing . He said he did not care that the police had smacked him around, but his parents should not be insulted by what he did. And his parents obviously did teach him a lot. What a sentiment at that age.

That kid, he is a hot shot businessman now. What I take away from that experience with this student, is this. Before religion was shoved down these children’s throats, they came to school with their moral compasses, intact and facing true north. I believe now however, that this has all changed. And while my sample is too small to hypothesize, I’ve have had too many experiences with these young entitled lot, to feel any different. Our education system has ruined them. Damn you, indoctrination. And damn you politicians who did this to them. Yet, when I was teaching these young lads at school, 23 years ago, they were gems. They were polite and respectful. However, today here is what our education system is turning out. It’s turning out a new breed of takers. They don’t want to work. They just take. And they won’t hesitate to harm you, if you put up a fight.

Eighteen months ago, I had my gold chain ripped off my neck by a bunch of young Malay lads at a petrol station. They injected something in my neck, grabbed my chain and rode off on their motor bikes in full view of a police patrol unit. One of the policemen had the audacity to stroll over to me and ask me to go and make a police report. It was not his in his job description to do a high speed car chase. I don’t normally have my verbals stuck in my throat. That day they did. I was gobsmacked. As we never got a full view of them at all, it happened so fast, my daughter and me made the executive decision not to report it.

The policeman said they were Malay boys. Take a bow, policeman. You do your country proud. That was the third time I had lost a gold necklace to snatch thieves. The incident before that one, had me kicked onto the floor in front of my daughter and grandchildren and my gold chain ripped off me, as I was falling. The police at Subang Jaya said it was rampant on a Friday, as they would steal, then slip into the mosque and escape being caught in the crowd. They told me that it was a Malay. I said he could have been Indonesian but he was sure of his take on who it was. I poured over dozens of felons on file. My granddaughter who was about 7 years old then, was traumatized. I could not identify him. I’ve never owned a gold chain since.

A year ago on the 28th of December, 2018, I filled up petrol at a station off Jalan Pantai. As there were no pump attendants, I walked over to pay for my petrol. I had my car keys in my hand. I did not lock my car as the pay station was a few feet away. When I came back, I got into my car and drove off. I thought I heard a rustle of papers behind me, but thought nothing of it until I turned onto Jalan University. Then a hand grabbed me from behind and something was shoved in my neck and a voice instructed me, to just shut up and turn into the first turning on Jalan University, across from the University hospital. All these instructions were in Bahasa Malaysia. I remember one or two had Northern state accents.

I was ordered to stop my car and four motorcycles surrounded me, two in front blinding me, one preventing me from getting my door open and one behind so I couldn’t reverse. The one in the car behind me asked for my handbag, tipped it over and emptied its contents onto the floor of the car. They took everything of value in my car…all accept my mobile phone which had fallen under the seat. These boys, slight in weight, but cowards nonetheless, took all my money off me, including my heart tablets which they thought were drugs. They asked me what those tablets were. I kept saying drugs, instead of ‘ubat’ so they took that too. Then they threatened me with ‘ jaga kau, nanti kena tikam’, and rode away. I never got anything on them, except I remembered my car smelt real bad during the robbery and for days after. I guess that’s what fear smells like, both theirs and mine. Their helmet visors were down, and they wore jackets and gloves. They must have been so proud of their loot that night. I was careless. I paid for it.

I couldn’t drive after this to get to a police station so I locked my car…funny that I remembered to, and walked across the road to the emergency unit of University hospital where I was checked up, and allowed to feel safe for a few hours. The police
were very kind. The hospital sent a nice young policeman to me in the emergency ward. He took down my statement and asked me to collect my report from the police station when I got out of hospital. After a few hours, I walked out, got my car and drove home. It was a few weeks before I went anywhere or before I became human enough again to venture out and continue the process of living life to its fullest. They never caught the little swines. For a whole year I looked over my shoulder, getting paranoid each time a group of motor-bikers came near me or my car.

And now fast forward to December, 28th 2019, exactly one year later, it all comes back to me, and I am beginning to think…..what is it about me and young Malay boys…no tell a lie…they could have been men, and being held up. So at about 9 pm on the 28th, I filled up petrol and started towards home as I had just been out with girlfriends for dinner, and was coming home to watch the Liverpool Leicester PL match. As I moved out from the slip road after Paradigm Mall, two motor-bikers each with a pillion rider, ran me off the road and forced me to turn up towards Taman Mayang and then into the lane towards the church. The pillion rider shouted at me to open my car window or he would smash my window. So I thought to myself, just let them take what they want. However, he did not take anything from my bag except my two bank cards. He picked up my phone from the passenger seat and the other pillion rider got in behind me and he told me to drive to Public Bank in Kelana Jaya. There they wiped out my account based on my daily limit. They kindly returned my card and we then drove to BSN in SS5 Kelana Jaya. Thank God there wasn’t much there. They took almost all. They left me with 50 ringgit. They then returned my card and replaced my mobile phone on the seat and then rode off. I drove to the hospital, because by now I had thrown up and felt some kind of something coming on. BP and heart rate were up, but I was good. I probably am stronger than I look. I guess an anxiety attack feels like a heart attack. The doctor said I should stay but I needed to get to the safety of my home. Again my statement was taken at the hospital and I went home. I had a bath, made myself a sandwich and a cup of coffee, all very mechanically, and watched my game, in a dream like state. Thank God we won. I’m glad I was not a complete loser that night.

My trauma from this last experience did not end that night. I had made a report. The police had to do their thing. So a few days ago I was summoned to the police station. Apparently they had some suspects in custody and wanted me to identify them from a line up. Now for those of you who watch a lot of movies, a line up in a Malaysian police station is Not what you see on screen. Yes there is a glass separating you and them, but the room in which the suspects are held is grimy, has a drain running out from a wall that probably belongs to a cell and it looked like it smelt. I could have been wrong. I didn’t smell anything except my own fear and dry mouth.

I was not sure whom I was going to see but certainly it was not the four sniveling, skinny, obviously terrified and disheveled kids in front of me. I won’t take the oath on this one, but I was pretty sure they had been roughed up a tad. I never saw the faces of my perpetrators throughout my ordeal. They had their visors on their helmets down, they wore jackets and gloves. The only thing I remembered were their voices…in local dialects. I couldn’t swear by which. I heard the words which they were forced to utter, words I had given the police. Nope, I couldn’t identify even one. And they were crying. As I was watching suddenly I started crying and couldn’t stop. The tears were just pouring down my face. The inspector asked me why I was crying. He said I should be angry. ‘ Jangan nangis Aunti, budak ini boleh pukul orang, tikam orang”.

I don’t know why I became a bumbling mess that day. Don’t think it helped that he called me aunty. Suddenly I felt sorry for myself, and if the truth be told, also for those idiots behind that glass. Maybe it was reaction. One thing that I became sure of, was this. I couldn’t make an identification because I only heard voices. I never saw faces. The banks cctv’s were inconclusive. No part of them were exposed. The people who robbed me were professionals. Their motorcycles were without number plates. The boys in front of me looked, at the most , like undernourished neighborhood irritants of a broken down playground. I refused to call it. I’m letting it go. I’m not ready to go to court and swear on someone’s child. The police refuse to close the case because in the period in which I was robbed, there were other victims. That’s for them to call. That in two different years on the exact same night, I’ve been robbed, is surreal. I don’t go out at night any more unless I’m with a friend who is willing to send me home. However, that is not fair. Why should everyone else be put out or have to worry about me, although I do have angels in my life that will. So, for a bit, I think I’ll stay home and watch every football match or movie series available and just be a couch potato. I’ve been out two nights now since the police line up. Both times I’ve felt tired and beaten, and couldn’t even summon up the energy to dance. The one margarita I hug all night, so far has not been enough to stop the tightening of my throat each time the fear comes back. Think maybe it’s time to hang up the proverbial dancing shoes. Or find another passion. Space clearing of my house maybe to get rid of all this “ sui” energy ? Two years running, same date, one hour difference….damn……..

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