PUTRAJAYA, 10 Aug 2009: Parents of juvenile delinquents should be held accountable and punished for crimes committed by their children, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk T Murugiah said today.
He said this would act as a deterrent to ensure the parents monitored their children’s movements to prevent them from falling into bad company.
Speaking to reporters after meeting a group of parents whose children were involved in crime, Murugiah said it was alarming to note that there was a rise in the number of children committing crimes.
“Although I do not have the exact figures, I know for sure from my daily interaction with the people that more and more youngsters are turning to [a life of] crime.
“I have personally come across a case where a 14-year-old was involved in a gang fight and was nearly killed.
“What is worse is that even young girls have resorted to petty crimes like pickpocketing, which clearly reflects a real breakdown in social values among families,” Murugiah added.
He said there was need to build “good family values” and instill them in the young minds so that they would grow up to be useful citizens.
“Whatever development we make would come to zero if we do not rehabilitate our young,” he said, adding that he would propose to the prime minister to increase allocation for youth organisations, so that healthy activities could be organised to bring the young back into society’s fold. — Bernama