Malaysia Dateline

When a child makes a threat: Take it seriously


The grand daughter of Datuk Seri Zahid Hamid is adorable. But in Southeast Asia, where the bombs occasionally go off somewhere in the region, the threat “I am only nine, I am the future of the country, and I will make your life un-peaceful,” can and does send a chill down the spine of anyone who reads it. Or, least anyone who has pored through the literature of how terrorists are trained, then transformed, into suicide bombers.

Suicide bombers are, and can be trained. Some of them can even be radicalized just by watching hours after hours of macabre display of violence non stop, to the degree the brain is emotionally numbed, into believing, that the hurt inflicted on others can always be justified irrespective of the methods.

But there are those who, lacking the stomach, to watch them on You Tube, can be tutored into the art of killing. Way back in 1970s, one of the methods used by militant groups in Palestine, be they secular or religious, was to lower the trainees into the grave, shield and cover the hole, and tell the person that one day, his or her world will not be larger than being two feet wide and six feet deep.

It would be a permanent state of claustrophobia, they are told, not unless they transform themselves into agents of emancipation and change——to liberate the lives of their grand parents, parents, family members and neighbors. Indeed, to free others from the occupation of Israel.

Irrespective of how effective the conditioning is, the trainees, when raised from the cemeteries, after days of deprivation from light, food and water, would come away transformed, invariably, transfixed, that they must help others in order to help themselves. It is one of the saddest human experience, since the victims of the training are further victimized to make prospective victims out of others.

It is also sad because these organizations know that their training methods may, and do fail at the last moment. Instead of allowing the suicide bombers to detonate their bombs, based on the vests filled with ball-bearings, C4 and nails that they wear, the perpetrators that have been suited often do not know that their switches are not necessarily in their hands.

Rather, they are in the hands of those trainers who control and direct them on where to walk to. In other words, once suited and packed with the explosives, they cannot stop, turn back, and ask for these suits to be taken away or back to the party head quarters. Their trainers, who have remote control over their switches, will detonate them at will.

This is why some suicide bombs go off in the oddest of places, away from the crowd, rather than amidst them. This is because the moment the suicide bombers showed any sense of doubts, a couple of fast clicks at some distance away, would be enough to blow the suicide bomber into smithereens. When they do, the trainers will not claim that it is they, who turned on the switch. The headlines will read: The suicide bombers have executed their missions.

In Surabaya, Indonesia, in June 2018, the world has seen how the whole family blew themselves up, with one of the children surviving, and ambering to stand us, deafened and dazed by the bombs going off. It was the first recorded case of the whole family, with children as young as seven or eight, being weaponized by their parents.

The grand daughter of Datuk Zahid Hamid must truly miss her grand dad. This is an understandable feeling. Datuk Zahid is a superb grandfather too. He has been seen on TV to talk nothing but the love he has for his grand children.

In this sense, Datuk Zahid Hamid does have some redeeming virtues. His daughter, who spoke in defense of her dad, may have some as well. When her husband died of a dental operation mishap, she mourned for him with the deepest affection. A court case was also brought against the helpless dentist, whose life as a dentist must certainly has indeed become “un-peaceful”. But between the age of 9 and 99, no one knows what hatred can do to a human being.

Thus any thereat, by a child, or, the bearer of a child, must be taken seriously. Not to bully either one of them online. But to remind one “an eye for an eye does make the world go blind.”

Perhaps Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ought to be praised too for never once asking his family members to sow hatred in the minds of the public despite his long years of incarceration. As things are, one can only hope that Datuk Zahid Hamid understands that hatred of and against anything, except injustice, is the beginning of the end of one’s faith. Only God can create and destroy.

The rest of us must comply, and complete our journeys in our respective lives, which is why in Quran, there is a verse that urged human beings to be mindful of the “whispers” of the wretched one. The laws in some countries can be an ass. If they are too cruel and crude, they have to be changed.

But when 45 charges of criminal breach of trusts and money laundering are read out, leading to an empty and vacant piece of land, that does not even have a building, something is seriously wrong. The people have been taken as an ass. Thus the court must hear the case and weigh the evidences next year. Meanwhile, having been bailed, Datuk Zahid Hamid deserves to have a lot of quality time with his family and grand children whom he does cherish. May the force be with love.