TRAGEDY struck several families in Pahang this year and the sad part is all of them involved children below the age of 16.
In February, six children, aged between 11 and 15, drowned in Sungai Pahang near Kampung Benta, Pekan, when they went there for a swim.
Last month, six other children, aged between two and 12, were also victims of drowning.
Two of them, who were cousins, were found dead in a pond near their home in Pekan while four others, including three brothers, drowned in Sungai Pahang near Kampung Bangau Tanjung, Temerloh.
Up to today, the remains of one of the victims have yet to be found.
Rescue workers had given up hope of retrieving his remains after searching for more than a week.
It must have been a nightmare for the parents who lost three of their children at one go.
More so for the parents who could not give their son a proper burial since his remains were still floating somewhere in Sungai Pahang.
What have we learned from these tragedies?
Do we brush it aside as fate?
With the monsoon season approaching soon, the authorities should have some action plans lest a similar tragedy recur.
Some children just could not resist the temptation of a pool of water.
Tragedies could be prevented if adults, particularly parents, had kept a watchful eye of their children.
There have been numerous reports of deaths resulting from drowning but the message appeared not to have sunk in.
Malaysia could not afford to lose so many young citizens from tragedies which could be prevented.
All quarters should seriously ponder on why such deaths continue to take place and who should be blamed.
In fact, the law clearly states that parents or guardians could be taken to court for failing to protect a child from harms way.
We should not go to that extent but if all else fails, it could be an option to prevent unnecessary deaths.
The authorities such as local councils should consider putting up prominent signboards warning of the potential danger in black areas.
Temerloh MP Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah was right in raising the alarm bells following seven deaths from three cases in his constituency so far this year.
Children are Gods gift to mankind and as parents, we should do our best to raise and nurture them into responsible adults, not bring them into the world and allow their destinies to be fated.
The deaths of the 12 children would be in vain and disdain if we do not learn a lesson or two in upbringing.