The murder suicide case in Sungai Petani involving a Malaysian Indian man committing suicide and suffocating his 3 children to death has not shaken up the Malaysian Indian community like it should. The man resorted to this decision due to financial difficulties and the kids are from his 2nd marriage – he has a 20 year old son from a previous marriage.
Suicide seems to be the easiest way out from difficulties for Malaysian Indians. It’s not due to depression or mental illnesses like bipolar that trigger suicidal tendencies. These suicides among Malaysian Indians are calculated by sane and sharp minds. They are not rushed but planned.
3 cases this year so far involving Malaysian Indians taking their own lives over financial constraints – 2 of them involve children being murdered by their own parents. I shudder even to think about it – the anguish the parents must have went through when killing their own flesh and blood, the pain the children had been put through in the process of dying and.. aah, I am at loss for words.
Generalising is not a favourite thing of mine to do but I do see that Indians have a greater proclivity for suicide, both in India and Malaysia. From love failure to failure in exam, suicide seems to be a panacea. Is it though for the ones the deceased left behind? And, no one has the right to kill their child for anything. Statistics show that suicide rate is highest for Malaysian Indians when compared with the other races. I hate the old Tamil movie Thulabaaram where the mother kills her children due to poverty. That movie was a hit yo. They still air that shit of a movie on ASTRO, much to my chagrin.
My grandaunt consumed arali vithai (cerbera odallam) aka suicide tree when a family altercation took place. After her suicide, the suicide trees in the neighbourhood were chopped down. My granduncle hung himself after his eldest daughter eloped with a low caste guy (this was way back then), leaving 8 young mouths that needed to be fed and raised.
My mother always says that no one will ever call a person who committed suicide as brave. I agree with her. Don’t get me wrong here. I am very much aware that mental illnesses can lead to suicide – I am not trivialising that facet of medicine and neither I am saying that anyone should just get over it. As someone battling depression myself, I know that the struggle is real. What I am touching here is using suicide as a tool to escape problems.
The recent murder-suicide cases have their root in financial mismanagement – the adults have been taking debts from loan sharks. Malaysian Indians generally lack financial prudence and they don’t dither from taking debts, without even a thought on how are they going to pay it back with the interest – many within the community are in bankruptcy status, blacklisted because of the failure to pay bank loans back. Proper financial planning and saving habit would have prevented these murders – suicides.
Salmons swim upstream to spawn. It’s literally suicide for the fish – if they don’t get eaten by grizzlies, they die after spawning due to sheer exhaustion. But not before they fulfill their purpose. That’s a very big lesson this fish teaches us. We need to fulfill our purpose in life and not let despondence get the better of ourselves. Look at the Syrian and Rohingya refugees, how they are braving seas, hunger, thirst, exhaustion and absolute uncertainty – for what? The will to live. Never, ever lose that will. No matter what. I know that it’s easier said than done. But we are already in life – things need to be said and done. We should be aware of our mortality. The minute we are born, the date of our death is also born with us. In the middle of birth and death, life is a journey. In that journey, we should do what we are supposed to do before death comes to us – we should not go to death.