Monday, May 29, 2006

The Obdurate Old Thief.

Seventy-year-old Guat Guan Chua has been in trouble with the law since he was 22. He has had 20 convictions between 1958 and 2002 and has made his appearance at various courts in Singapore, Kedah, Perak, Johor, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Klang. His convictions were for theft, burglary, possession of stolen property and breach of a restricted residents order. Today, he earned his 21st conviction at the Shah Alam magistrate’s court. This time it was for stealing an anklet from a one-year-old girl last March.(NST)

Your 21st huh? No congratulations for you Mr. Guat. Usually 21st refers to a birthday when you receive the symbolic key of 'freedom'. But alas, you're 21st was a conviction, and what little freedom you had in between stints in prison at government expense has been again temporarily taken away. In a way you should consider yourself lucky. These days even young chaps going to prison either end up dead or land in hospital beaten to pulp. That you have survived the prison system for so long is indeed an achievement in itself.

Don't you think it is high time you called it a day? After all you've been there and back and done everything - theft, burglary, possession of stolen property and even a breach of a restricted residents order. This time you've stooped, literally, to steal from a one-year-old child. You're getting on in years sir. The papers described you as frail and that you had to lean forward and cup your right hand to your ear, merely to listen to the charge. Your legs aren't as strong as before to make that quick getaway and prison inmates don't have respect anymore for age or seniority in the trade.

Even the young magistrate who first sentenced you in the good old 1950s must have retired years ago or gone to his maker, but you stubbornly soldier on for the wrong reasons. There must come a time no matter how late in life when there should be a serious stocktaking and reappraisal of our actions. For you Mr. Guat that time is now, when you'll be in prison for the next eight months. Think about it carefully. It's never too late to change; even an unrepentant thief like you can make a difference to your life at the fag end of it. As they say, 'the choice is yours'.

**** While there are not many people as stubborn or 'determined' as Guat Guan Chua to remain a thief we must first try to understand if we can, what motivates him to steal even now. Could it be necessity, habit or just a desire to get back to prison, his second home? Any opinions or educated guesses?


Blogger The Wanderer said...

perhaps he's doing it for the kicks?

without further info, all comments will most definitely be retarded. just thought i'd make that clear before i get judged by some/all.

8:48 PM GMT+8  
Blogger The Malaysian. said...

Don't worry the wanderer, at this point every guess is just that, a guess. We're not passing judgement on him. For all you know you could be right. Ease up. No one's gonna take your opinion to heart. Where there is no malice there is no worry.

9:10 PM GMT+8  
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