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Old 10th December 2011, 10:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Avoid eye contact, stay out of trouble

http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne...08-315169.html

HIS skateboard and baggy pants sometimes gets Ali Zulkifli, 13, mistaken for a gangster by older people in his neighbourhood.

They have even threatened to call the police when they see him and his friends skating in the void decks, Ali, a student, told The New Paper.

He also gets harassed by other young people.

From time to time, he would bump into a group of about 10 youths who congregate in the afternoon at a park near his home in Kovan.

Ali said they usually buy beer and chat.

"But when they see me, they will say, 'Look, there's a skater,' and try to provoke me into a fight," he added.

"I just stay away from them, and avoid eye contact."

Following the spate of youth violence last December, Ali is one of many young people who are now more aware of the potential risks of hanging out with their friends in public areas.

Two recent incidents have also raised this awareness.

Last Thursday, a 17-year-old Raffles Institution student was stabbed in broad daylight by a group of youths.

Five teenagers were later charged in court with rioting in connection with the case.

Over the weekend, a full-time national serviceman was bashed to death at Central Square. Three men have been charged with his murder, while another two are still at large.

Young people whom TNP spoke to were unanimous in their condemnation of these violent incidents. Miss Kayne Chun, 24, described such violence as "stupid" and "silly".

"When you're young, you think it's cool," said the bank executive, who revealed that she used to be involved in fights when she was in secondary school.

"Everyone around you does it... You stare at other people, they fight back. Ten to 12 of your friends will join in to help."

But she stopped after she turned 17 as she "found education more important".

Some felt that the younger generation was, when compared to themselves, more inclined towards violent behaviour.

Said Miss Anne Lee, 20, a designer: "They pick up habits from the Internet, their parents are not as strict as before, and allow the kids to hang out with older people."

Miss Lee said that when she was in Secondary 1 and 2, she faced intimidation from gangs of five to six students in each class.

Now, she knows of friends who "smoked and got pregnant even in primary school".

Overall, these young people who spoke to TNP believe that staying safe involves not making eye contact with strangers, not carrying large sums of money, and avoiding "flashy" branded clothing.

Said student Gavin Khaw, 16, who was hanging out at the skate park at *Scape yesterday: "I wouldn't pick on somebody who looks poor, right?"

With him was 16-year-old "Xavier". He shared that his mother's side of the family was associated with the secret society 369.

"Growing up, I'd hear about the stuff they did, like extortions," he said. "But I kind of ignored it."

Parents, too, are actively educating their children on what they should do when put in such situations.

Mrs Catherine Kwek, who has a 15-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son, shows her children newspaper clippings of such incidents to increase their awareness.

Mrs Kwek, an office administrator in her 50s, reminds her children to walk away and not answer back if people tried to provoke them.
Keeping tabs

She also makes it a point to find out where her children are, who they are with, and offer to pick them up if they are returning home late.

"I always tell my children that if something happens and it's beyond their control, get help from an adult," she said.

Counsellor Sheena Jebal of NuLife Care and Counselling Services called for more effective efforts to tackle the issue of youth violence.

For instance, she suggested sending at-risk youth to boot camps instead of just prison visits, so that they can experience for themselves what life in prison is like.

She also felt that parents should not be overly protective of their children.

"Parents have to give autonomy to the school to discipline the students when they do something wrong," she stressed.

Mr Nicholas Lim, a psychologist at Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association, however, felt that recent incidents were not representative of all young people.

"Youth, by and large, are thrill-seeking and impulsive," he said.

"But most of the time, they mean no harm."

The problem, he noted, was the way some youth chose to react to certain situations.

"They need to learn to choose alternative outcomes instead of choosing what they think is the best way of resolving the problems," he said.

But he added that it would not be surprising if such incidents were to happen again.

We can't expect to save all, he said, as there will be some who would fall through the crack despite efforts from schools, the Government, parents and voluntary welfare organisations.
Engage teens

Mr Lim suggested that one way the community can play a part is for adults to engage these youth in a positive way when they do not agree with their behaviour.

He said: "Be daring enough to pass comments or have some kind of dialogue. Youth are not pests in our society.

"There is a way in which we can engage and talk to youth without them being resentful or angry with us.

"Talk to them in ways that they can understand you, empathise with them on what they are going through, respect them and help them understand what their actions are causing."

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Old 10th December 2011, 11:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Avoid eye contact, stay out of trouble

youngster now always stick to one animal group and create trouble.... i wonder what will happen if either one of them in that group is alone and get back this type of starring accident

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Old 10th December 2011, 11:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Avoid eye contact, stay out of trouble

so I guess it will be better if you are alone, not with a group

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Old 10th December 2011, 11:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Avoid eye contact, stay out of trouble

Originally Posted by christmas_ View Post
so I guess it will be better if you are alone, not with a group
depends on individual also for me i rather to be alone wahahaha as for won't go around creating trouble ma

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Old 10th December 2011, 11:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Avoid eye contact, stay out of trouble

if they stare at me I sure say 'kua simi lanjiao'

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Last edited by oldvirgin; 10th December 2011 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 10th December 2011, 12:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Avoid eye contact, stay out of trouble

I'm not youth anymore and I still get stare at all the time
Whenthere have 3 to 4 ppl they will avoid me... And when they have 5 or more, all the pattern come already...

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Old 10th December 2011, 04:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Avoid eye contact, stay out of trouble

Originally Posted by Deca View Post
I'm not youth anymore and I still get stare at all the time
Whenthere have 3 to 4 ppl they will avoid me... And when they have 5 or more, all the pattern come already...
cause u r so muscular...3-4 typically skinny ah bengs & u can easily flatten them...haa

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Old 23rd March 2012, 06:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Avoid eye contact, stay out of trouble

Boot camps can be the solution to the rising concern among youths today. Boot camps can be used as a prevention tool as well as delinquency corrector. The purpose of boot camps is to teach maturity, self-control, responsibility, leadership, and respect for authority, so young people can become productive member of society.


Last edited by Krispy Jordan; 23rd March 2012 at 06:53 PM.
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