Tuesday, April 10, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 10:43 am

Further to my post about how sick this society is becoming, comes a Minister who actually has some caring sense. I am talking about Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. In giving her comment on two 8 year olds in Kota Baru taking part in kickboxing or muay thai, she said that if it can harm children, the relevant authorities ought to examine the matter carefully. [source]

Rightly so. It is not that kickboxing should be banned at all. Rather, I believe that it is not suitable for children of tender age as it is obvious that their musculo-skeletal formation has yet to reach maturity.

Malaysian Council for Child Welfare (MKKM) secretary Ismail Majid said the important factors were if they (children) participated willingly, and if proper protective gear was provided. He said for instance silat, karate and taekwondo had proper protective gear, and as for muay thai, only boxing gloves were provided, while the feet and most of the other parts of the body were exposed.
No, Encik Ismail Majid. The important factor is not whether the children participated willingly but whether the child appreciates the danger/s from this contact sport. Frankly, from my observation, most boys of tender age are influenced by fighting scenes from television and would not hesitate to show a kung fu stance or two in jest. Well, I guess it's okay to pretend to be Wong Fei Hung or Jacky Chan or Jet Li by showing a stance WITHOUT involving contact with another. It's another thing when actual sparring takes place. Do you seriously think that the children of their age will think about the consequence of injuries or be able to appreciate the dangers of the sport? I doubt so. And don't tell me without blinking of an eye that there is no danger involved in this sport.

That's why I reiterate again that these type of sports should not be encouraged or participated by children as young as 8 years old (or even younger...they started from 3!) because the potential injuries outweigh whatever benefit that could be obtained. Hey! I did not participate in Muay Thai at any point of my life. Does it make me less disciplined?

I do hope the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development will look into this matter seriously and make the necessary recommendation before some kid gets hurt. By then, it may be too late.