Aminulrasyid Amzah, 14 years old, was shot and killed last week by the police. The news are full of allegations now of what really happened: The police allege the shooting as an act of self-defence after Aminul tried to ram a police officer. Azamuddin Omar, also 14 years old, claims to have been in the car with Aminul when it all happened, and his version of the story paints a picture of a scared, innocent boy desperately trying to run away and get home when the police fatally shot him.
I don't know what really happened, only the police officers who were there, and, possibly, Azamuddin are the only ones who know the truth. One this is certain: whatever the truth is, both the police and Azamuddin have compelling reasons to lie.
Regardless of the truth, there is one question that needs addressing: where were Aminul's parents when he was shot? Did they know their son had "stolen" (taken without permission, allegedly) his sister's car in the middle of the night, picked up his friend and stayed out until 2am (on a school night) to watch football?
It might sound harsh, but Aminul's parents must shoulder some responsibility for the events that transpired that night. Seems cruel to heap more misery on them, but a spade is always going to be a spade.
In this case, the spade is clear -- Aminul was a minor. As a minor, his parents are responsible for his actions and for keeping him safe and educating him of the proper values of a law-abiding citizen.
Who let him out at midnight? His parents. Behaviour such as this is not a one-time thing, thats a guarantee: has he done it before? Take a family car without permission, stay out late without supervision from an adult guardian. Was he reprimanded by his parents for this behaviour? Obviously, they didn't stress upon him enough that what he was doing was wrong. So he did it again; on that fateful night, it cost him his life.
No one wants to ask these harsh questions of his parents, because they have suffered a great loss. But you can be certain that these thoughts are in their minds. If it was my son, i know it would be in mine. Did i make a mistake in his upbringing? Did i not teach him the proper values of right and wrong; stealing a car, sneaking out in the middle of the night, and running away from the police are NOT proper values, no matter how you want to spin the tale.
The fact that Aminul did all these things begs the question: did he not know any better? And if he didn't, whose fault is that? The fatal shooting is an outcome of a cause, not the cause itself. Let's not forget that.