Local actors Gurmit Singh and Quan Yi Fong both have teenage children, and they say that the responsibility of a child's behaviour falls squarely on the shoulder of the parents. They share their thoughts on the Amos Yee incident.
Q: Being a parent yourself, what are your thoughts on the Amos Yee incident?
Gurmit Singh: "My standing has always been this, nothing to do with Amos. I've always told my wife and my kids that whenever I see a child misbehaving, 90 per cent of the time I would blame the parents.
"Because the parents are supposed to be there to guide the child. Parents are supposed to say "This is wrong."
"There are a lot of parents nowadays, who are yielding to the child's demands, thinking they are being a good parent.
"So don't blame them, they're not aware you see.
"But at the same time I do blame them because you have to take a step back. Is this going to have long-term effects?
"And if so I would suggest just to stop it.
"So even myself I have to self-check sometimes or my wife has to tell me that wasn't such a good decision so let's readdress it again. And let's do something about it."
Quan Yifeng: "A lot of people are criticising him, saying poor parents, and that he should be punished.
"But I feel that we shoukd separate it into two different issues.
"Gurmit has a point as well, everyone will have their own opinions.
"I feel we should separate the issues. If the child is not taught well, it is the parents' fault. But I have seen cases where the problem lies with the child.
"He should really see a doctor. It's not that his parents did not care. He could be a really problematic child, and his parents should have brought him to see a doctor.
"If they did and he had treatment, he might not have committed such a grave mistake.
"So yes, if it is a teenager or younger, the parents have to assume the bulk of the responsibility. But for Amos, I think he has a illness. He should see a doctor. His parents should have brought him to see a doctor a long time ago."
Gurmit Singh: "For me, I think because of the internet and social media, the kids nowadays, their level of awareness is way up there, compared to my time. I wasn't aware of anything that was more than one block away, unless I read the papers.
"But nowadays, they have so much feed and exposure that they know a lot more. And because they know a lot more, they question more. They need to be fed more from my point of view, my perspective, of a certain event or a certain issue so that they do not jump to the wrong conclusions.
"They are exposed to so much more that I have to be careful that I monitor them, and make sure that, if they see something, I am there or my wife is there to guide them as parents.
"In the old days, I don't read papers. TV was allocated one hour. 'Watch Tom and Jerry. Finish? Done? Go to sleep, take your bath, if not I slap your face.' Simple as that.
"Nowadays you try that, they say: 'You know, the telephone number for child abuse is written here. I can Google it.' It's different. But it's a good thing. Because the world has become so small. And its great because the child knows about the earth, that it is round, that there are things like islands and countries at a very early age, and I think that is tremendous.
"We, as in intellect, are prospering so fast and so much in a good way. But if we don't cultivate it, and don't guide it, it can go very wrong."
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