In the end the tragic police shooting death of Aminulrasyid Amzah will not be about closure for his mother, sisters and brothers who must still be in a state of shock and disbelief.
Nor will it be really about making the police accountable, exercise due caution or use reasonable force when apprehending suspects or about the already much discredited and perhaps even reviled chief of police being overzealous in protecting and defending his men in blue. Or of the conduct of the police in branding a teenager whom they had just shot dead, a "criminal" despite the boy having no previous records of any run-ins with the law whatsoever! Nor of the Prime Minister belatedly calling for the police investigations to be "more open" while opportunists from both side of the divide jockey to garner maximum political mileage out of the corpse of a poor, poor prematurely 'wasted' lad who had his whole life ahead of him.
It will not even be about Aminul's 14 year-old friend who was with him in the car during the entire episode and who brought a lump to your throat as he appeared at prime time on national television to contradict almost everything the police said to justify their actions and the findings of their internal investigation.
It will be about the very air we breathe, the essence of life and death!
You will know what I mean if you yourself have or have had a teenager daughter or son. Mine are 15 going on 16 and 17 going on 18.
Teenage life is filled with imponderables and impenetrables that are the end of the universe if not resolved by yesterday and of millions upon millions of imagined and unimagined angst.
Pimples! BO! Mum, is my nose too big that girls will not find me attractive? Dad, am I too short to put off boys? Dad, you know Amy has a boyfriend and her parents allow her to go on dates to a disco ALL BY herself, hmm, hmm, dad? Mum, ALL my friends have Nike jogging shoes, why can't I? Geeze, why is my father so old fashioned and whothehell's Englebert Humperdinck ? Jim Reeves, mum you can't be serious! Is he from this planet??? I can't believe dad hasn't heard of Paramore!!
Teenagers are fully capable of driving their parents up the wall and all too often they know it only too well. Mine will test my exasperation to the limit. They are experts in that teenage-speak that may have you inadvertently reaching for the shot-gun:
"How was school today?"
"How did you do in the geography test?"
"Why are your shoes muddy?"
"Why C for maths?"
"Everyone else got a D!"
"Dad, I need a suit and vest."
"For the school charity dinner."
"What charity dinner?"
But this is the same child you looked at in wonder and awe in his/her tub outside the delivery room when you wife had caesarian; the same child you'd rush home early from work to spend the evenings with before he/she dozed off at nine and who hero worshipped you, tried to imitate you shaving or stole mum's make up kit and painted her face!! Did you not hold back the tears when your baby brough her kindy crayon drawings and said "Dada, you the big smiling whale, ha, ha!" Another time is was a big smiling bear and once even a dolphin!! You bought them their first tricycle and then bicycle, roller blades, Barbie doll and playhouse and went whitewater rafting in KK.
And if all that is allowed to be snuffed out in one second without you having a moment to say farewell, thank you, I love you, what are we humans?
This goes beyond race and religion and kampung and town. Nations are not built around mere individuals, officials, officers, Attorney Generals, Ministers and Prime Ministers but around the nucleus of families and children and grandparents and uncles and aunties who form communities. Chinese father understands Malay mother who understands Indian grandfather. All share the same worries, fears, concerns, anxieties, hopes and aspirations - for their children.
There is a almighty issue of legacy here!
And if in the process of achieving a caring, united Nation, we have to weed out an officer or two, or a chief of police or two, or a judge or two, or a Minister or two, or a Govt or......then that's our God given duty.
That's our obligation to our children and the future.
I shall make the time available to go visit Aminul's family and let them know I care, that I share in and weep at their immeasurable loss.
Because I have a family and teenage children.
I know. I know. I know! It's important to me.
Because Aminulrasyid Amzah should not have been shot dead, least of all for a teenager's immature NON-VIOLENT indiscretions!!
donplaypuks® with our children, man!!