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'Punish those who let kids roam streets at night'

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Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation wants the authorities to take action after 8 boys die in accident

SEREMBAN The Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) has urged the authorities, including the police, to prosecute parents who allow their underage children to roam the streets unattended during inappropriate hours of the night.

Deputy chairman Datuk Kamarudin Md Ali said action could be taken based on the provisions under the Child Act 2001, the New Straits Times reported.

His comment came after eight teenage boys on bicycles were killed after being hit by a car near Johor Baru at about 3.30am on Saturday.

Eight others injured in the accident are still being treated at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital.

The boys were said to be part of a large group of 30 to 40 who came from areas such as Plentong and Skudai in Johor to ride their modified bicycles.

Mr Kamarudin said: "We have to admit that letting our children roam outside the house unattended after midnight exposes them to dangerous and unhealthy influences.

"We believe that perhaps parents will be more strict in controlling their children's movement if authorities start to take action against them."

He was talking to reporters after attending the MCPF roundtable discussion on safety in Seremban yesterday.

Meanwhile, six of the injured cyclists were scheduled to undergo surgery yesterday.

State Environment and Health committee chairman Ayub Rahmat said that the other two cyclists are still being warded at the hospital's intensive care unit, The Star reported.

Police said they will release the woman driver involved in the fatal accident.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said that so far there has been no indication that she was speeding, drunk or using her mobile phone during the incident.

The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, wants the incident to be a lesson to parents, Malay Mail Online reported.

He told families of the victims at the hospital mortuary: "The dead will not come back, let them go, this is also a lesson to parents not to allow their children to go out at night. Let them (children) cry, rather than us.

"I also had a son who had passed on never to come back, if I am sad, you as parents to the victims must be more so. This is my advice."

Sultan Ibrahim also said parents must monitor the movements and activities of their children and not allow them to play in dangerous areas.

He then expressed his condolences to the next-of-kin of the victims and was seen wiping away tears.