THE time is ripe for the government to push for a legislation aimed at deterring and punishing anti-social behaviours in children, teenagers and young adults.
There have been many cases involving juvenile delinquents such as bullying, gangsterism, blackmailing and drug abuse. If this issue is not tackled, it will spiral into something more serious. Plus, it will lead to the country losing out on future human capital.
There are many ways to deal with juvenile delinquency. One way is through early education, where one learns civic consciousness and the importance of tolerance.
Notwithstanding the government’s efforts through this soft approach, the issue does not only refuse to go away, but is spiralling into something monstrous.
While we must continue to instil civic education, we must graduate to a harder approach to deter recalcitrant youths.
A specific law aimed at curbing anti-social behaviours in youths has become necessary.
This law must not only address youths’ delinquent behaviours but also allow the authorities and courts to punish parents, especially in cases where the crimes result in deaths.
DR MUZAFFAR SYAH MALLOW
Senior lecturer, Faculty of Syariah and Law, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia