Spoiled brats spring from pampering parents

Spoiled brats spring from pampering parents

Created: 2013-3-4

Author:Ni Tao

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FOR renowned army singer Li Shuangjiang, the music is over, the curtain brought down by his ne’er-do-well son Li Tianyi. The junior Li has been placed under detention in Beijing for allegedly taking part in the gang-rape of an underage girl in a hotel room, together with four friends. It’s not the first time Li fils has dishonored his father, now 74 and arguably one of China’s best altos.  In 2011, the younger Li was given a one-year term in a juvenile rehabilitation facility for violently beating a man with whom he nearly had a car crash. He was released in September. After only six months, the bad boy struck again, this time bringing greater shame to his father and raising deeper questions about his parenting. The younger Li’s aggression can only be bred by his parents’ indulgence, many assert. This assertion appears plausible.  After the gang-rape case went public, Meng Ge, the boy’s mother and also a singer, appealed to the public to show some tolerance for his son, who is still a minor aged 17.Doting mother

A doting mom she may be, but definitely her enabling of Li’s youthful mischief has grown over the years into naked defense of his arrogance, to the neglect of the rape victim’s plight.

And whether young Li is still a minor is open to question.

Many suspect that his age is fabricated and he is already an adult, liable for harsher punishment than is meted out to a juvenile delinquent.

Strangely, some celebrities have rallied to his support.

Renowned TV anchor Yang Lan tweeted recently in her microblog that she felt sorry for him, saying the earlier one-year punishment in the rehabilitation facility had a debilitating impact on his character. “Teacher Li (the father) has my sympathy!” she wrote.

It’s not clear if Yang is one of the senior Li’s proteges, feeling compelled to risk her own reputation in defending a spoiled brat.

But Yang apparently has very muddled ideas about what a causal relationship is, for she seems to have forgotten that Li already showed his true color in that nasty street fight before he was thrown into youth detention. Yang later apologized for her improper remarks.

In fairness, a brief look at his resume generates the image of a brilliant young man who has a great future ahead of him.

Born into a wealthy family of artists, he should have received the best education that commoners’ offspring can only dream of. But art doesn’t seem to flow in his blood, arrogance does. His education apparently is lacking in moral guidance yet rich in permissiveness and indulgence.

Although the rape case involved his son, it is the father who has born the brunt of opprobrium. The senior Li boasted, on many occasions, about his son’s versatility, but apparently he didn’t teach him anything about humility or restraint.

Wayward children

The rape case is the latest in a series of scandals in which wayward children have disgraced their official, celebrity fathers. A few are not the children’s biological fathers, but sugar daddies offering patronage.

These scandals have given rise to a neologism, keng die, to bring down the father.

In a popular online joke, four fathers victimized by their sons’ or daughters’ insolence or even criminal behavior are lumped together into a pack dubbed “four famous daddies.”

We have a police chief whose drunk-driving son cried out his powerful father’s name in false belief of his impunity and dared bystanders to call the police; we have two young women who flaunted a luxurious lifestyle supposedly funded by money from charity organizations headed by their father or sugar daddy. And at the head of this pathetic pack is Li Shuangjiang, whose revolutionary songs inspired a generation of people.

The downfall or public humiliation of these fathers led an ingenious commentator to pen doggerel that reads, “Father is the son’s license to commit evil, son is the epitaph on the father’s gravestone.”

It is becoming a trend that many corrupt officials are turned in by their mistresses, wives or colleagues who hold grudges against them, but their offspring are also bringing unwanted attention to their wrongdoing with willful acts of depravity and crime.

There are rumors that Li’s family is trying to reconcile with the rape victim, offering property as compensation, and that the victim has accepted the offer and withdrawn charges filed against her perpetrator. But police have been quick to dismiss the rumors, saying the case will not be settled in private.

It would be ideal if police and judicial authorities live up to their word and handle the case in accordance with the letter of the law.

This would demonstrate that nobody in China is above the law and send a stern message to bigwigs who don’t bother to rein in their kids, setting the stage for their own downfall.

Morality tale revisited

At this point it’s worth revisiting a tale I read in primary school textbooks.

Once upon a time, a serial robber is captured and sentenced to hang. He asks to have a final word with his mom before he dies. The demand is met and the woman brought in to the execution grounds.

When she presses her ear to the quivering lips of his son, he dramatically bites it off.

As the mother bleeds profusely in shock and disbelief, the doomed man launches into a tirade, cursing her for his descent into the seedy world of crime.

It is she who condoned his petty theft at a young age and even encouraged him to steal more. It is she who condemned him to the gallows, says the man, the noose starting to tighten around his neck.

The tale’s moral ought to be taken to heart by parents like Li Shuangjiang.

Yesterday his son was still honored as China’s youngest Olympics ambassador, a budding pianist, a computer prodigy and a young man of excellence. Today he is awaiting trial for the second time.

The noose is beginning to tighten.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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