A child lost her life because she was too little to understand the perils of sharing a roof with a drug addict

COMMENT

A three-year-old girl was stabbed 59 times with a pair of scissors by her uncle at her house in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur on June 18 and amazingly, it was “business as usual” for Malaysians.

Three of the stabs pierced the child, Serena Yip Pei Yee’s heart and lungs. Her 21-year-old drug addict uncle has since been charged with murder.

Early reports had indicated that the little girl was stabbed 30 times but further inspection pointed to multiple stab wounds with a sharp object.

“At the time of the incident, the suspect was using the scissors to cut lengths of straws so that he could fill them with methamphetamine, when the victim approached him from behind and began to disturb him,” City police chief Mazlan Lazim then explained.

The man apparently pushed his niece down, causing her to knock over the scissors.

“At this point, the suspect lost his temper and stabbed the child 59 times, three of which pierced her heart and lungs,” Mazlan told reporters.

The neighbours had later pointed out that all was not well with the child’s family, describing the house in a “party” mode most of the time.

If the neighbours decided out of fear to mind their own business, then they too are party to the child’s death.

What would it take for Malaysians to get rid of their apathy and offer the much needed assistance?

A child lost her life because she was too little to understand the perils of sharing a roof with a drug addict. That her family knew of the uncle’s addiction and yet allowed him access to the house is not pardonable.

Just as unforgivable is the federal government’s deafening silence on this tragedy. Did the Women’s Affairs and Welfare Minister, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail not find it troubling enough to decry such horror, where a child is stabbed mercilessly and repeatedly?

Why, none of the politicians, be they from the ruling or opposition divide, found three-year-old Serena’s murder worth their while to take up cudgels against such occurrence.

Politicians guilty of tolerating apathy

Do politicians and lawmakers need to be prodded, prompted or “guided” to speak up whenever children end up as victims no thanks to the never-ending apathy plaguing the nation?

It is bemusing that the lawmakers took no cognisance from their refusal or failure to show care and concern vis-a-vis Serena’s death.

On July 13, seven-year-old Nur Zulaikha Khumaira had her left arm severed after the oversized jacket she was wearing got caught in the rim of the motorcycle that she rode pillion with her 18-year-old cousin.

It was her mother’s sweater that Nur Zulaikha had borrowed to keep warm during the fateful night, having not the slightest hint of the danger it stood to pose.

“Doctors have told me that because of the extent of the injuries, she cannot be fitted with a prosthetic arm,” Nur Zulaika’s grieving father Zulkifli Mohamed had decried.

Zulkifli added that he felt helpless and left it all in the hands of God.

Both the Terengganu Menteri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar and Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad are all prepared to help Nur Zulaikha with her treatment and life.

Ahmad is also willing to adopt Nur Zulaikha as Terengganu state’s foster child and sponsor her treatment and education.

But then, why has this catastrophe failed to tug at the heartstrings of the Women’s Affairs and Welfare Minister or her deputy?

Why has there been no word of advise or caution from Wan Azizah on the dangers of ill-fitting clothes worn by children when riding pillion?

Or for that matter, any lawmaker or concerned politician could have reflected worry and addressed the apathy that led to Serena’s death and the reckless attitude of parents in allowing children to wear clothes one size too big for them, as happened to Nur Zulaikha.

Either politicians and lawmakers are becoming tolerant of apathy or have no qualms being apathetic. Or perhaps they are simply too busy looking after their own political interests.

 

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