Some 675,000, or one out of three people, aged 60 and above are abandoned by their children.
They do not receive financial support from those they brought into the world and raised, and are deprived of proper care.
Some are left in old folk's homes. Even worse are those "disposed" of in hospitals.
Indeed, there are the children who treat public hospitals as dumping grounds for their aged and infirm parents because food, shelter and medication there are provided by the government. It also saves them the hassle of applying for places for their parents in government-run welfare homes.
These children leave false addresses and phone numbers, and disappear after leaving their elderly parents under the care of the hospitals. There are such cases all over the country. Should laws be enacted to punish these miscreants?
In India, children who fail to provide a monthly allowance as ordered by the court can be jailed up to three months, or fined Rs5,000 (RM305).
In Taiwan, those who abandon their parents may face up to a year in prison or a fine of up to T$200,000 (RM20,740). The Maintenance of Parents Act 1995 in Singapore states that parents are entitled to make maintenance claims from their children.
Would counselling be a better option? Should research be carried out "to identify the root causes of why children are abandoning their parents"? Or should these unfilial offspring just be tied up and beaten with rubber hoses until they see the error of their ways?
Whatever the most effective method, what's certain is that these are the ugliest of Malaysians.
SOURCE: New Straits Times
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