DECEMBER 6 — The Wangsa Maju Wanita Umno division chief Datuk Noor Aieni Mohd Ali suggested that the government should create a legislation imposing curfew on youths aged 21 years and below between 10pm and 5am. There should not be out of the house without the supervision of their parents.
As a former youth myself, I would definitely welcome the suggestion as it definitely a good idea although it could be improvised a little by lowering the age limit to below 18 years old or even increasing the time to 12am onwards.
But regardless of the age limit and time, this is a relevant concern as we might not want the repeat of the incident in Johor Baru where eight teens were killed in an accident as they were out at 3am
in the morning riding their bicycles before being knocked down by a car.
In addition to that, Datuk Noor also mentioned the curfew was also a way of curbing drug abuse and vice activities from spreading further among youths which is also a legitimate concern although some might have different opinions on that.
But the issue here is that, many have jumped into the bandwagon to totally reject the idea just because it was coming from an Umno representative which is definitely not fair and appropriate. I don’t see any issues on implementing a curfew on Malaysians youths.
This is because, it has been done worldwide in many European countries. For example, Iceland has seen major changes among their youths since a law was passed on prohibiting children aged between 13 and 16 from being outside after 10pm in winter and midnight in summer.
As a result of this curfew, the percentage who have ever used cannabis has decreased from 17 per cent in 1998 to 7 per cent 2016 and those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent in 1998 to just 3 per cent in 2016.
In Germany on the other hand, the federal government decrees that teenagers under the age of 16 years are barred from clubs after midnight, youths under the age of 18 need authorisation from their parents to go to a concert, and those under the age of 18 could only stay in the cinema until midnight.
What about countries in South-east Asia? Well Thailand also implemented a curfew on Valentine’s Day when parents were told to keep youths aged under 18 at home after 10pm on February 14. This was done to avoid youths from acting inappropriately by taking drugs or engaging in other forms of vice on the day.
I feel that the suggestion of curfew should be considered and not be rejected totally as in reality it could safeguard our teenagers from social ills as well as other forms of danger.
* Aaron Denison is a research assistant at Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.