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The teenagers were slapped for playing fireworks

The teenage boys’ mischief is wrong in the first place, I do not condone their act.

The newspaper omitted another fact that these boys were slapped by surau guardian for playing fireworks nearby the surau.

I believe Malay boys will act in the same way if they were slapped by Chinese temple guardian for playing fireworks in the compound.

The fault is not entirely on the boys, the guardian of the Surau should be charged also for using violent forces against the boys.

Full of regret: Parents of the four teenagers Wong (left), Cheng (second from left), Loh (second from right) and Leong (right) tendering their apologies to Mohd Hasbi (fourth from left) while Dr Yeow (third from left) looks on. — Bernama

Parents say sorry over surau vandalism

SEREMBAN: The parents of four teenagers detained for allegedly vandalising a surau in Taman Pulai Impian near here have apologised to its committee and Muslims over their children’s actions.

In a special meeting organised by the Negri Sembilan MCA at the surau yesterday, the parents of the youngsters, aged between 16 and 18, issued personal apologies to the committee members. They also expressed their regret to Muslims and everyone who were offended by their children’s actions.

They said their children’s behaviour was a result of ignorance and that they didn’t mean to incite racial sentiments.

Trader Cheng Kok Foo, 38, was hopeful that the Muslim community would forgive the youngsters for their irresponsible act.

“It is wrong to defile a place of worship and I am so sorry that the children acted without thinking,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by carpenter Wong Seow Wai, 43, who was shocked when the police showed up at his home to arrest his son.

“We had no idea that our son and his friends were involved. I hope the children will be released early and given a second chance,” he said.

Housewife Leong Foong Kuen, 53, said she hoped that the committee would forgive her 18-year-old son for his immature behaviour.

Mechanic Loh Teck Ai, 53, the father of the youngest suspect, said he was saddened by the children’s actions.

“I hope the Muslim community will find it in their hearts to forgive them,” he said.

Surau committee head Mohd Hasbi Ismail accepted the parents’ apologies over the incident and expressed his hope that the youngsters would learn from their mistakes.

“I accept their apologies with an open heart and sincerely hope that these children will never repeat their actions,” he added.

State MCA chief Senator Datuk Dr Yeow Chai Tiam, who attended the meeting, said the parents of the teenagers were equally distressed over the incident and were not defending their actions.

“They had no clue what their children had been up to and were shocked to hear of the incident. They just want everyone to know that they are sorry,” he added.

The state MCA also organised breaking of fast at the surau’s compound later to enable nearby residents to meet and mingle with each other.

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