A change of heart

I’ve had a change of heart. When I saw the picture in the papers of the 4 who beat up teenager T Nhaveen with helmets and caused his death, I felt sorry for them.

Then when I read the report that one of them cried when he was in the dock and saw his family, I felt sorrier for these 4. These are kids, victims themselves of the system and now charged in court for murder with the mandatory death sentence by the very system that has marginalized them.

I wonder if they will be treated well in prison and will get a fair chance to start a new life? Or, will they be roughed up as they are herded through the process of remand, charge and imprisonment by the police and everyone else along the way on the grounds that they deserve it?

Undoubtedly, bullies deserve to be punished. But, perhaps, I was too harsh in my last post to wish that they be damned in jail. It was my initial emotional reaction to the heinous crime they and another group of boys committed. The latter group had beaten up university student Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain over a laptop and caused his death.

But, they are kids. I think I need to be more of an adult to them. It is clear they don’t know how to control themselves. Perhaps, they were brought up without learning to respect boundaries, especially, social boundaries.

I pray that some good people will reach out to them.  Or, that the authorities will send them for counseling and rehabilitation.  They are young, only teenagers and, while we strongly condemn their actions, I think as members of a caring society, we need to show them mercy and compassion, and let them see they have a choice to seek forgiveness and change.

If they become better people, society has won, and, hopefully, the death sentence will be commuted and one day they will be released to live honest lives.

If this happens, others of similar bent, may be encouraged to change and fatal bullying may become less of a social problem than it is now.

That’s something good to hope for, isn’t it?

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