Monday 17 November 2008

Same shield, different usage

I think about a month ago, news broke out about a 10-year-old being detained under ISA while accompanying her mother to visit her father in Kamunting. Some said she was trying to hand over a Deepavali card to her daddy and a whole load of them got themselves arrested.

There were mixed reactions to that. The usual left wing people started condemning the police. I thought that was normal. But, there were also some quarters which argued that people should not use children as their shield to achieve hidden agendas. Fair enough, I believe they had a valid point there.

I saw this cute picture of a little girl wearing the forbidden tee while attending the latest candlelight vigil in
Zorro’s blog. She probably wouldn’t understand that exactly she is wearing and definitely wouldn’t understand what is going on in such vigils.

Honestly, I don’t know how it feels to bring a child to a vigil as I am not a parent yet. The repercussions are further amplified after the FRU incident 2 weeks ago. And I am sure many loving and protective parents out there will condemn such acts.

But to those who have been refraining from doing anything simply because they believe they are protecting their children…. those who continue to vote “the party” in an attempt not to rock the boat for the well-being of their children… those who prefer to have “stability” for their children’s sake… aren’t you also using your child as shield to keep yourself from doing anything?

Children may not understand what is going on and why things are happening. But when they finally understood, will they say… “thank you mommy for not doing anything?” or will they ask… “Why did you use me as a shield against the critics?”

I was… once a child… never understood a thing… but now I do…


Anonymous said...

To be honest, never quite saw it this way before. I'd say leave the kids out of the demonstrations till they are old enough to know better, but let their future guide our actions.

That's being responsible. That's acting like an adult.

Thevan said...

whoa. wasnt quite sure where u were goin with the post at first... me thinks u ended at a pretty good note. lovin this write!

Anonymous said...

Well, there are those who didn't do anything simply because they believe they are protecting themselves, not their children lah.

Anonymous said...

Mommy's wrong priority is detrimental to her child's safety as well as mental health.

Anonymous said...

dont include the child

you and your child may have different understanding of what happen

is the world define according to one person?

so let the child choose

Angie Tan said...

I think some folks have chosen NOT TO VOTE ANY PARTY because it's of no use. It's not that they are using their kids as shields but rather, gambling their children's future away.

I would agree that it is better to bring older kids who have been exposed to civic studies on our government structure... They would appreciate it better.

To the young kids, its like an enjoyable time because they get to stay up past bed-time. :-)

myop101 said...

waah... i honestly will not blame my parents lo if they make their choices. because it is their right to make it.

and what is done, is done. no point dwelling in the past.

Anonymous said...

Ya..."leave those kids alone!" (Pink Floyd's Another brick in the wall) Often I see young boys and girls being very vocal about political matters, VERY racially-prejudiced...who do you think put all those things in their heads? And the vicous cycle goes on and on and on...! It will never end!

Purple~MushRooM said...

I think this is called 'protecting' rather than 'using'. I remember sometime ago you mentioned that you refrained from going to a demonostration / peaceful march because you didn't want to jeopardise your Aussie PR application. So, is this protecting, or using this as a shield / excuse for not doing anything?

Hilman Nordin said...

oh, a different angle.
if you think deeply, yeah, they are using their children as an excuse.

but hey.. my parents voted for a different party from what I voted last March.

they really believed in what they believed in. they will continue be with 'the party'. they still believe that they will save their children that way.

i have no problem with that. but, i think its time for us to save them back. =)

Purple~MushRooM said...

In addition, I think those parents who bring their kids to these places are just nutcase. I don't understand why they want to expose their kids to any kind of violence breakout risk or any risk at all.

Anonymous said...

yew T,

very well said!

on another note,
u have got tons of kiasi readers who dunno wat shield is....izzit juz being asian or their colonised mindset

yup, makesure the baby kept home at all times the day jalan jalan at the park w/o permit is dangerous to bolehland K

PahNur said...

I want to leave this world knowing that I made a difference, no matter how small it may appear to be, and I will shut my eyes forever knowing that my kid will have the chance of seeing a better world than it is today.

But for today..there are still many things to be done, many "wars" to fight...let's start with fighting ignorance...ignorance about human rights, ignorance about the true meaning of democracy, ignorance about how despite we are different in appearance, humans have basically the same dreams, the same needs, the same cravings for happiness, prosperity etc...

Today we "fight". For pass every storm, there will be a calm after...but for today, we need to rock the boat..

CK said...

well said zewt.
either way, children were used as shield. now i have bullets to argue with my friends

Huei said...

hahahh well said

i think to protect your children's future, it's time to do something about the way things are currently. mysterious bombs appearing out of nowhere killing somebody, mysterious lands suddenly in the name of some politiks because of "error"

yeah..and this is only the beginning, so, those who think they vote a certain party is because they wana "protect" their child..we'll see...

Anonymous said...

The t shirt is forbidden meh? oops. I have two of them! Haha!

Anyway, bringing children along for demonstration or keeping vigil is just downright stupid. Chances are, if there is chaos, how are you going to run with kids in tow?

I remember visiting a jail when I was little, about 10 years old. And I felt utterly ashamed even if the criminal was not even anyone close to me! It was a friend of my mom's. I heard he was framed.

Anonymous said...

Fighting for a better future in Malaysia for our children is commendable. However, our children's safety MUST always come first. I bring my children to anti-isa vigils but after what happened on 9th November 2008 in PJ, I am more cautious. I still bring them ie during the Penang Anti-ISA vigil on 15th November 2008 but at the first sign of the men in blue coming in with the men with shields and red helmets, I left hubby and took the children to the car. We can have a mission but we must know who comes tops in our priorities. I love this post of yours! Cheers!

zewt said...

Life for Beginners - fair enough :)

Thevan - thanks... just happened to came to me.

PasserByInLife - now, isnt that a very good point? :)

jemima - depends who prioritise what... to each its own.

erm - right, wouldnt disagree with that.

zewt said...

Angie Tan - hahahaha... stay up past bed time... like that also can. well, i think it's our responsibilities to educate... no matter what.

myop101 - haha.. surprise i make such a claim eh?

suituapui - it's like a chicken and egg argument isnt it? we will blame the system, the sytem will blame us.

purple mushroom - i think that was protecting my marriage. i think those parents have their right. so long as they are true to their notion.

mohamad hilman bin nordin - how come i get the feeling which party you and your parents are voting :P... i like the saving back statement.

zewt said...

Anon @ 18/11 12.11pm - i think the protective nature is getting out of hand. i see it amongst my friends and relatives, they only want their kid to be superhuman when they grow up, that's all.

pah nur - well said... very well said... very very well said. our biggest war is against ignorance... how apt.

CK - shoot away! :)

huei - some still have not seen the light. sigh...

gina - framed? i hope he got justice in the end. and u have 2 of them? woooaaah... i salute u.

MANAGE - hello, welcome to AZAIG. what you have done will put many to shame. that's the right approach... to bring your child along even after the chaos. the difference is just being more vigilant. zewt salutes you.