Friday, November 13, 2009

This is not love

In a rather awful news story from today, a man, expecting to be divorced from his wife, decided to kill his children, destroy the family home, and then kill himself.
[Ng Chee Kiang] is believed to have killed the children before setting fire to the living room of the flat at 9.50pm. [...]

Strangulation marks were found on the boy's neck while the girl had bruises on her face.

Their little bodies were found lying side by side on their parents' bed, covered with a blanket.

The relative, who was unnamed in the Lianhe Wanbao report, said the couple, who had been married for nine years, started having relationship problems about a year ago.

"Whenever they quarrelled or fought, Ng would say to his wife, 'If I leave, I will take our children along,' " said the relative. [...]

[...] It is believed that the couple had discussed getting a divorce and Ng was worried he would not get custody of the children. [...]

According to the relative, Ng loved her a lot and always gave in to her.

Neighbours also said that the family was close-knit and that Ng doted on his children. He would buy them whatever toys they wanted.

If Ng had been feeling depressed when he texted his brother three months ago, his mood seemed to have changed about a month ago.

While attending a niece's birthday party, he told his brothers: "I've already learnt to accept it. If she wants a divorce, I'll agree to it."

It is not known what transpired since then which led himto decide to carry out his horrific deed.
Neighbours thought he doted on the children. What did the children think?

A "relative" said Ng "loved [Anni Ong Lay Choo, his wife] a lot" and "always gave in to" her. What does Ong herself think?

This is a man who, let's just be clear here, killed his own children in brutal and painful ways. Had he ever been violent to them, or to his wife, in the past?

I write this to make the point that there is an approximately Airbus-sized gulf between (1) loving your children, and (2) prizing your possession and control of them to the point of killing them to maintain it. Many people love their spouses and children, and suffer great anguish at the thought of being parted from them, without concluding that their children's lives are worthless unless they have custody, and that their spouse's feelings are meaningless if they don't remain married, and that murder is therefore an appropriate way in which to express themselves.

This man's behaviour is not an expression of love and does not indicate that he was a loving father and husband. (He might have been in the past. But killing his kids is evidence against, rather than for, it.)

It is very sad that he was in such despair as to kill himself. I just do not accept the picture being painted of his life at home.

Though I am but a Chicken, I would like to offer my best wishes to the families of the deceased.

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