Youth=Delinquent: Punishment Or Rehabilitation?

YESTERDAY I was editing a short piece on an unemployed youth who pleaded guilty in a court for breaking into a mosque and stealing money from donation boxes amounting RM6,000.

Being a parent to a 19-year-old son I can’t help but thinking, what was the story behind this. What were the factors that pushed the boy, 20, to break into a mosque and steal the donation money. Was he as delinquent? Was his family very poor that pushed him to steal? What was the money for? To buy new smartphone or fixing his motorcycle?

How he felt when he pleaded guilty to the charge? Did he know that he had just admitted to committing offence that carries maximum imprisonment of 14 years or a fine or both?

Did he know his rights? What was the mosque committee view on this boy and his offence? Nothing much I guess. I am sure the mosque committee member were just trying to do the right thing with hope that it would serve the youth lesson in life and hopefully it will be a wake  up call for him.

But if the youth goes to prison, will it be lesson for him or it will push him to be a harder individual…

I am not trying to paint nice picture of the youth here.

But being myself, I have this tendency of looking at things beyond the surface. I don’t just scratch the surface. I dig. Deeper. As deep as I can. Because I want to know what push the youth or anyone that I assume from poor background, committed such offence…

My heart bled every time I read about incident of a poor father/mother caught stealing some food stuff to feed their hungry kids at home…and sent to jail for that…

I am not writing here to debate whether the boy should be punished and sent to prison or to be rehabilitated so he will be given chance to become a quality individual… sounds whimsical isn’t it….

I don’t even want to touch how difficult it was for Muslims to get help from the mosque as it have been written to death and I believe there was some improvement on that front. I hope…

And it is bloody unfair to compare the mosque and the church and how they deal with their respective congregations… apart from reports that have been published all this years…

I don’t even bother to compare it to church that provide money for those who need it regardless of their faiths by putting their names down and the amount they take from the boxes…

He breaks the law so he has to face the consequences… And it is up to us the adults and the law to see which punishment can serve him as lesson for offences that had been committed…either that or we may end up moulding him to become a harder criminal in the long run… God forbids!

But it did touch me deeply that I kept thinking about it until  a day later…

Every story has more stories to be explored…To be told.  To be understood… to serve as a lesson for all of us… A