Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A kid, his mom and thirteen motorcycles

About a year or two ago someone in the Government suggested that parents be held liable if their children are caught illegally driving a vehicle. This was due to a spate of fatal or almost fatal accidents involving minor. But then, after while, the issue died a natural death.

After 7 months in Pahang, I realize this issue needs to be re-addressed. Parents here (especially in the estates and Felda) are purposely being ignorant and stupid.

Today, tops it all.

A 12 year old boy was admitted to the ward following fall from HIS motorcycle and he sustained a huge gash over his knee which brought him to me. After treatment has been instituted I decided to do my ‘preventive medicine’ responsibility and ask the boy bout his ‘joyride’. His ever concerned mom was there and she told me to pull his ears and reprimand him for riding carelessly and hurting himself.

I was curious. Where did the boy get the bike? Whose bike is it? Was he being extra mischievous and stole the key from the parents?

I was not at all prepared to hear the answer. Actually, I was stunned.

Mom nonchalantly told us that there were a total of 13 motorcycles in her house. One for each kid. The youngest, a 7 year old has a ‘motor kapchai’. And she went on, they can ONLY use them (the bikes) on the village road; to the shops, to school and to the surau NOT to the main roads or highway. It is convenient for her and her hubby as they don’t have to ‘worry’ bout the kids.

Hmmm…fascinating! It shows that the standard of living in the FELDA have actually improved. Man, they can afford THIRTEEN motorcycles. Doesn’t matter if it’s 2nd hand, they would at least costs RM2000, minimum. How I wished I had the vision to be a Felda settler, no need to study and work so hard, just collect money at the end of the month. Really! Nowadays, FELDA hires foreign workers to work at the palm-oil estate.

Anyway, back to the THIRTEEN motorcycles and under-aged motorbike riding, I wonder, if the son had died of an intracranial bleed or intra-abdominal injuries would the mother still think the same? I felt a very strong urge to tug the parents ears and give them a lecture on being responsible parents.

There are reasons why there is a minimum age limit get a driving or motorcycle license. Knowing the young, the age limit should be raised. Young people are brash, impatient and their judgment have not yet developed and thus more prone to accidents. And when you are young, you will always think ‘I still have a long life ahead of me’; or ‘it would never happen to me’.

I have been there, felt that but perhaps not done that.


Amin said...

I used to live in Jengka when I'm in primary school. I have many friends back then who drove motorcycle after school. It is so common like riding a bicycle. Most of the parents never bother about their child's safety. If something happen to them, they will just say 'Dah takdir'..

john f seademon said...

Once at FELDA LBJ near Nilai, a 12-year old kid broke his leg after the bike that belonged to his dad that he rode went into a pothole at night.

His parents blamed the government for poor road conditions.

Bakawali said...

Yeah everything used to be Takdir...
Nowadays, they try to pin in on others

Similar story here, parents were more interested to try to 'saman' the other party for running into their child instead of worrying about the fracture... When told they can be jailed for being negligent they looked stunned.... hmmmm...