Posted on July 24, 2008


Such news can never fail to sadden and shock us to the bones. A marriage was falling apart. There had been a separation of six to seven months. Husband and wife had just attended a counselling session at the Religious Department. Then the day after, the two children aged four and one were found dead in bed and the man was found hanged from a wooden beam.

How can this be? To the neighbours, the police and the surviving spouse and parent, no matter how incredulous or unwelcome, the tragic death was a certain irreversible fact.

What could have been was no longer an option. Death ended possibilities, opportunities, everything but sorrow. Only sorrow is alive and will be for a long while yet.

Even for strangers like us who have no image of the family in our mind or knowledge of any kind of them, will feel the pain of sorrow. Sorrow unites human beings. Ethnic or religious divide does not count in times like these. In sorrow we are all alike human beings, vulnerable and fragile. Grief makes us more human and enables us to act more humanly to our neighbours.

News of family breakdowns, despair, ending one’s life and children put to death make us realise that human life matters not just in a macro but also the micro perspective. The individual person counts and the small family unit is valuable.

The nation is in despair dismayed by the happenings unparalleled in its senselessness and lack of transparency. Large sections of the population are asking: How can this be?

In the midst of all these happenings and more happenings by the day, something happened in Kampung Parit Kasa, Nibong Tebal. “A factory worker was found hanged in his house…” and we are brought into another perspective of life on quite another plane and our response is, HOW CAN THIS BE?

Posted in: Perspective