Only two Henry Gurney boys receive visits from families


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 16 Jun 2005

BY LEE YUK PENG AND VINCENT TAN

MALACCA: Only two of the 82 boys in the Henry Gurney School at Telok Mas received visits from their families during the school's open day yesterday held in conjunction with Father’s Day. 

The school had invited the families of all the boys.  

The other 80 boys could only watch the two families longingly, as all of them had never received a visit from their families. 

Aidi and Man (not their real names) were the lucky ones. 

Aidi’s mother, nasi lemak seller Fatimah, could barely hold back her tears when she saw her 18-year-old son at a hall in the school for the first time since he was sent there. 

“He’s still my son, and I hope that his time in the school will help him mend his ways,” said 43-year-old Fatimah, who hugged and kissed her son tearfully upon leaving with his father Yahya, 57, a former security guard.  

Aidi, convicted and sentenced to four years for stealing cars and a car stereo set, has been at the school for four months. 

A subdued Aidi said he had dropped out of school after Form Two and joined his friends in stealing cars for fun. 

“Whatever skills I learn here I’ll definitely use for an honest living when I come out,” he said. 

Man, also 18, was sombre during the meeting with his stepfather Fagiman, 47, and his 13-year-old stepbrother. 

“I haven’t seen him since he was transferred from Teluk Pahang in 2003,” said Fagiman, who works as a contractor. 

Man said he dropped out of school after Year Six, drifted around with friends and took to stealing motorcycles. 

“But I have realised my mistakes now,” he said. 

School director Jamil Razil Kassim was disappointed that only two families turned up. 

“Without the love of their family, they will not have the support needed to steady them,” said Jamil.  

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