There is a picture of this little girl sitting on a bench with a snake slithering on her thighs. Apparently, she was confined in a cage with 30 poisonous snakes (including her favourite, a cobra named "Mimah") at a National Day celebration at Primula Beach Resort in Kuala Terengganu. It was reported that she stayed in the cage for about an hour and some of the reptiles were curling up her neck and hands. It was further reported that her father (who is a snake charmer) had exposed Siti Amirah to snakes when she was a one year old toddler. Finally, it was also reported that the crowd applauded loudly when Siti Amirah left the cage.
How could a sane parent expose his child to poisonous snakes notwithstanding he is a snake charmer? Snakes are snakes and these are poisonous snakes. There will always be a possibility that it may decide to strike which by then, may be a little too late for Siti Amirah. What sort of publicity stunt is this to subject a child of tender age to poisonous snakes? Is it to teach the public that such snakes are harmless and that even a three-year-old child could handle it with ease? How could the local authorities sanction and approve such shows? I was not there and I am curious whether medical personnels were on stand-by in case Siti Amirah was bitten by any of the snakes. Are there any notices placed to warn the public not to copy the acts? What about the public? Are children also allowed to view this "show"? Will children who viewed the "show" be given the impression that they are as capable of handling snakes like what Siti Amirah did if they come across one? How about the snakes? Are they being stressed out with all the handling and attention?
I really cannot understand the value of such shows being conducted. It is not the first time though I must say, probably the first with such a young toddler as the star of the show. If the father wants to educate the public on how to handle snakes, a documentary should be made with him as the star not unlike the documentaries on animals seen on television. Let him handle the snakes and teach the audience a thing or two about the reptiles' behaviour and how to avoid injury to people as well as the reptiles themselves. That would be far more meaningful and contribute more to society than subjecting his daughter to an hour's play time in a snake pen like a freak show.