On the value of life…

With the economic ‘difficulties’ being faced globally, it is inevitable that crimes rates increase at the same rates. From personal observation, I’ve noticed the kinds of crimes that increase are the kinds that relate to monetary gains – petty theft, robberies, breaking and entering… that sort of thing. The reality is that people, from all walks of life, need pecuniary means to survive. And driven to desperation, or perhaps by promises of easy rewards, they dabble into crime to eke out a living…

But reading this particular piece of news on the Star today, broke my heart…

Pregnant woman dies after thieves pull her off motorcycle

JOHOR BARU: The killers on motorcycles have done it again — this time, snatch thieves took two lives when they tried to rob pregnant Jamilah Selamat.

Jamilah, 31, suffered severe head injuries after falling from her motorcycle on Sunday. She died at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital at 7.30am yesterday without regaining consciousness.

Her husband of seven months, trader Razali Ahmad, 41, was a distraught man yesterday.

For him, the tragedy was harder to take because he had just started to taste happiness again after five years when his first wife died of cancer.

The tragedy also leaves Jamilah’s two children from her first marriage — Norasyikin Salleh, seven, and Mohd Khairi Ridwan Salleh, five — without their mother. They looked dazed and clung to their crying stepfather.

Razali said he was told by an eyewitness — his older brother’s friend — that his wife had hit the pavement face first and did not move after that.

“The witness told me that he saw two men on a motorcycle flee the scene immediately after Jamilah fell, and her bag was nowhere to be seen,” he told reporters at the hospital mortuary yesterday.

Razali said Jamilah, a handicraft dealer, was on her way home to Taman Mekar after work that day.

Jamilah had lost her handbag to snatch thieves last year but escaped unharmed. A friend advised her to twirl the handbag around the rearview mirror for a tighter hold.

That move may have been fatal.

When the snatch thieves grabbed Jamilah’s bag, they pulled her motorcycle, causing Jamilah to fall.

“I never thought that I would lose her this way. We were expecting our child, we have only been married for seven months … I lost my first wife to bone cancer and now, I have lost Jamilah and baby,” he said.

Razali has two teenage children from his previous marriage.

Jamilah and the unborn child were buried at the Ayer Hitam cemetery yesterday.

Batu Pahat OCPD Asst Comm Ibrahim Arif confirmed police received a report on the incident.

Eyewitnesses are urged to contact the police hotline at 07-2212999.

In 2004, a Nanyang Siang Pau clerk, Chong Fee Cheng, 37, died after she lapsed into a coma following a snatch theft in Taman Molek, Johor Bahru.

In December last year, snatch theft victim Lim See Nya, 58, was run over by a three-tonne truck when she lost her balance and fell onto the road, after a motorcycle pillion rider grabbed her handbag in Bukit Mertajam.

How does one justify ending another’s life, so that they can maybe earn RM200 from it? How much is a woman’s handbag and its content worth? One life? Or in this case, two lives? A woman from Batu Pahat, no less. I doubt she was walking around with a Birkin and a bundle of cash…

Imagine the grief and pain faced by her family and loved ones… Unbearable, I imagine. Senselessly died just because some gangbanger wanted to earn some easy dough. And her unborn child? Truly an innocent lamb, no? To add salt to the wound, the perpetrators of the crime was not caught.


I suppose the only way to stop these idiots from committing such crimes is to penalize to the point that it becomes a deterrent… For ending lives like that for the sake of some small change, ohh, maybe we can poke one eye out? I certainly think that is not harsh enough.

I wonder what goes on in their piggy little heads when they do these things. Are they so down and trodden that they are unable to find a proper job in McDonalds or KFC? Or are the rewards too good to pass up? And don’t they believe in God, retribution, karma whatever?

As I write this, I’m looking through my handbag to see how much my life is ‘worth’ – Longchamps Le Pliage handbag RM790, Kate Spade purse RM1250, xPeria handphone RM2700, Cash in various currencies and denominations RM345.00, Oakley limited edition sunnies RM780, Surefire light RM380, Leatherman multitool RM460, various knick-knacks and other hubris RM25 – Grand total of RM6930. Take a 50% discount off, because everything second-hand is worth maybe half of the original, my life is worth approximately RM3.5k…

Sad isn’t it? To a snatch theft, that is all anyone is worth. Forget about the person. Just take the dollar value and be done with it. Disregard the person – family and friends, worth of accumulated knowledge and skills, job contribution, and the resources spent on making a person who he or she is at this day and time…

Maybe taking out an eye is too kind after all – Jasmine.


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