Friday, January 25, 2013

RIP, William Yau Zhen Zhong


William Yau is dead.
He was the 6-year old boy who went missing on January 16. He was left in the car, together with his 7-year old brother and year-old sister, when their parents went into an electrical store to look at washing machines.
When the parents returned to the car 15 minutes later, he was gone. According to the police, William’s father was informed by his eldest brother than William had gone looking for them because their sister had started crying.
Police fished out his decomposed body out of Sungei Sireh in Klang, nine days after he was reported missing. His parents identified his body.
I cannot help ask this question: Why, oh why did his parents leave the children in the car without any adult supervision? Why couldn’t they bring the children into the electrical store with them?
It is the same sad story all over again.
It was six years ago, the year William was born, that the country was shocked over the death of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin. She went missing after she went alone to the pasar malam near her house. Police found her battered body in a bag.
There was another case last year of five-year old Nurul Nadirah Abdullah or Dirang who went to a grocery shop near her house to buy instant noodles and eggs. She was burnt to death.
These are sure cases of negligence.
In William’s case, it was a mere 15 minutes that the parents left the children in the car. That 15-minute duration may deem short to adults but for a six year old boy, with a crying sister in the car, could be too much of a wait.
Never mind that we don’t have an official lower age limit where a child can be left alone unlike in some states in the US or the UK but parents here can be prosecuted under some laws if their actions are subsequently deemed “irresponsible.”
Chapter Three of the Child Act 2001 covers offences in relation to the health and welfare of children. The Act covers any child under the age of 18 years.
Section 33 of the said Act states, “Any person who, being a parent or a guardian or a person for the time being having the care of a child, leaves that child (a) without making reasonable provision for the supervision and care of the child; (b) for a period which is unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances; or (c) under conditions which are unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances, commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.”
I am also told there are provisions in the Penal Code on criminal negligence.
Most times, parents are let off without any charges brought onto them on compassionate grounds.
In Nurin’s case, then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan suggested to investigate her parents on negligence. That had provoked public outcry, with some saying that it was unfair to charge the parents as they had gone through enough of the ordeal of losing their child.
Similarly, no action was also taken against Dirang’s mother, who allowed the five year old to go to the grocery shop alone.
Another child is dead.
How many more need to lose their lives before any action is taken.

2 comments:

Andrew Charles De la cruz said...

I found it very very strange and highly suspicious that William was found dead a good 16 km from where he was lost. Something is really amiss here.The police is suspecting something fishy here and have rightfully decided to questioned the parents when things get settled.

Anonymous said...

Regarding parents' negligence... sometimes, I do really feel like giving them a talking to.

Take for example, a few nights ago at around 11.30 pm - 12.00 am I saw two kids aged about 7 and 3 running on the road towards some restaurant nearby by themselves. The elder one a girl, the younger, a boy. Where were their parents?

What were their parents thinking, allowing their kids out unsupervised so late at night?

Did the parents think that only bad things would happen to other children and not theirs?

Didn't the parents at least learn something from William Yau's case?

I was so tempted to go talk to the kids and to take them home, but decided against it, in case I could be beaten up by their parents for being a busybody or worst, falsely accused of manhandling the kids. We never know what the human mind might do.

What I had seen, I think, was a Class 1 case of parental negligence and irresponsibility.

Can you imagine, this happened whilst William Yau's case was still ongoing. Many parents the country over must have been having the chills from William Yau's case, but apparently not the parents of these two kids.