Detained children to be 'rehabilitated'

NST – Farrah Naz Karim
14 November, 2007
PUTRAJAYA: Like their parents, the 18 children detained at Saturday’s illegal rally in Kuala Lumpur are now in hot water. The Education Ministry is taking a dim view of their participation and will be getting their names from the police.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Noh Omar said the students must be rehabilitated and made aware that they had to abide by the law.
“They will not be expelled, but they will be taught what is right and wrong,” he said at the Putrajaya students’ discipline enhancement programme yesterday.
Noh said it was important that students were not used by people for their personal gain.
“Today, it is their parents who dragged them there (to the rally)… soon, if they are not taught that it’s unlawful, they will be used by some political party for its gain,” he said.
“We cannot let this happen and we need to correct the situation. If we don’t, students like these would think joining illegal rallies is a good hobby.”
While the Education Ministry would deal with the students, it welcomed the police move to take action against parents.
Police on Monday said the students’ parents would be charged with endangering them.
The children were allegedly used as human shields to prevent police from firing tear gas and water at the demonstrators who refused to disperse.
The parents are being investigated under the Child Protection Act.
More than 240 people were picked up by the police and released after their statements were recorded.
A coalition of opposition parties and non-governmental organisations, calling itself Bersih, had organised the rally, estimated by police at 10,000, to deliver an election reform petition to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.