Every person has a square of heaven above his head

I remember my late mother, who was a very wise lady and a teacher by profession, used to tell us ( my siblings and I) that there is a saying that ” each person has a square of heaven above his head”.

The meaning of this phrase is that each of us will pursue our own path , and no parents or other people can determine what we are going to be except ourselves.

Parents of course play a very important role in bringing up children. Mencius, a disciple of Confucius, believes that when a person is born, he is pure, and it is the environment  and his upbringing that influence him to be what he would be later on in life. This is of course debatable, and over the years there are other schools either supporting or refuting this.

One thing is sure. A person’s childhood influences his adult life. Anyone who has done a bit of psychology would know that. However, sometimes we do find very different siblings, despite the same upbringing and same parental care and control.

I remember one of my patients, a lady about my age, who has 3 very successful children, all grown up and doing well in life . She, however, was a case of depression.  Her husband who is also my patient is  a very decent man, well behaved and soft spoken. After many consultations, I finally learnt from her the cause of her depression.

She has one other kid, now in his early 20s, and third in the family, who is on drugs and were caught a number of times shoplifting (the family has to pay compensation  to prevent the victims  from going to police). SHe blames herself for this son’s behaviour and this guilt feeling has been haunting her and made her depressed.

His behaviour cannot be due to different upbringing. It has probably more to do with peers and his childhood experiences outside home , perhaps in schools, perhaps on buses, or perhaps from certain shows that he has watched,  which may not be entirely under the control of the parents.

I am quoting this example to show that sometimes, you do not know how your child will turn out to be even when you apply the same control and give the same teachings. Perhaps, we should tailor different ways of bringing up different children to their different characters, since their environmental influence is different from one another.

Still, there is no guarantee that all children will turn out good. It is like our fingers; no two fingers are of the same length, even though all arise from the same palm.

Yesterday’s paper highlighted that one of RPK’s children was charged for stealing. This type of crime would not normally be highlighted in the press. Perhaps it is highlighted to give a perception that there is certain blemish on RPK’s character or his family. Perhaps because RPK is such a high profile personality, this case was highlighted. ..In the spirits of a free press, even though this type of cases normally does not get reported, the media has every right to report on this, of course..

RPK has written a very moving piece on this son, and in the same article , he apologised to the nation for his son’s conduct. http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/22142/84/ 

It is very gracious of him to apologise on behalf of his child. He does not need to. His son is already an adult, and his son has his own square of heaven above his head and should be responsible for his own action.

He and his wife must be feeling very sad and very disappointed with this son. All parents would like to see their children grow up to be a useful person. But if the child chooses different path, what can the parents do?

RPK and his wife should not blame themselves for this son’s act. RPK also did the right thing in not negotiating his son’s release after he was alleged approached and offered a settlement. A lesser parent might do that to secure the son’s release. I salute RPK and his wife for this.

 In fact, letting his son face the punishment rather than negotiating his way out is the correct thing to do. Let the son learn from the hard way, if he chooses not to listen to the parents.

I hope no one would pass any judgemnt on RPK just because of this wayward son’s crime. It will not be fair for the family.  I would also like to reassure RPK that his name will not be blackened by this highlighting of his son’s crime

I am sure most of my fellow Malaysians will share this view of mine and that this incidence will never diminish his status as a freedom fighter for a better Malaysia. 


(update: more comments are available at MT site http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/22244/84/ )


29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    May 22, 2009 @ 12:59:57

    Dr. Hsu

    It is really despicable that the powers that be using the story of his son to make him look bad. The editors of the main stream media should be shot. hanged, maimed in accidents ……

    RPK’s article was very moving and really touched the heart in this trying situation.

    Unfortunately, it is common in this country to put people down so as to gain power and wealth. It is so despicable. What happened to their religious beliefs?


  2. syed
    May 22, 2009 @ 13:27:29

    reason for present low crime rate in the US? Abortion was made legal and all would be criminals were destroyed before birth. Most crimes were made by unwanted children. – Economist Steven Levitt of University of chicago in his book – Freakonomics


  3. clearwater
    May 22, 2009 @ 13:33:48

    Nurture or nature? Environmental factors or inherited genes? What is more critical in determining our path in life? Well, the argument has never been put to rest. While the sins of a father should not be visited on the son, the sins of the son are often laid on the doorstep of the father. That is the burden parents have to carry in our society.

    My personal belief is that nurture and nature only provide a blank diary for you to write your journey in life. You make your own story as you progress. A large diary does not necessarily mean a big successful bestseller ; a small diary not necessarily a poorseller. Like in a card game, we try to make best use of the cards we are dealt with in life.

    RPK’s son chose his path early on while still in his teens and left his family for whatever reasons. He is his own man. He is apparently estranged from RPK, Marina and his siblings. As a parent, I can feel their pain at losing a child this way. One can only hope the child at 32 will one day become the man and be reconciled with his kin. RPK does not owe us an apology. We owe him and Marina one for not realizing the pain he has been silently carrying all these years. Salutations.


  4. Dr Hsu
    May 22, 2009 @ 13:57:28

    well said, clearwater!


  5. klm
    May 22, 2009 @ 14:09:05

    clearwater. Amen.


  6. knn
    May 22, 2009 @ 14:22:38

    We can bring the horse to the water, but can’t force the horse to drink fromthe water. This applies to our children’s upbringings, too.
    We can bring them to school, pay for their n=books, but we can’t force them to study.
    We can tell them the good from the bad, the right from the wrong. We cannot live their lives…


  7. Dr Hsu
    May 22, 2009 @ 14:40:49

    This article was also published in MI, but the article was truncated, a thing which they do not usually do to my article… But that is the power od the editor.


  8. annoyed
    May 22, 2009 @ 14:59:13

    Dr. Hsu,

    Self-censorship that the grand old man talking about?

    It is always easy to blame others. Human nature?


  9. Nick
    May 22, 2009 @ 15:09:11

    Dr. Hsu, what a well written article. Like a poem. I also read it in M.I. This will reach a bigger audience, hopefully the BN crowd. The comments by clearwater is spot on. So articulate. I agree with both of you. My children are age 25 and 23 and I know the pains shared by all parents. I thank my God everyday that both of them have grown up to be responsible and mature citizens.

    I have always regarded RPK as one of my heroes. He is consistent and transparent. He is above many of the useless Tan Sri’s and Datuks in this land. RPK is a living legend, maybe 1 in a Billion.


  10. hindsighter
    May 22, 2009 @ 15:25:41

    one thing in life is that we cant choose our parents likewise parents cant choose their offsprings also. every consciousness is detemined by karma. do good begets good results and bad results in bad. life of a single man is brief, but for the the entire human being would consider a long and everlasting one, in order to avoid all miseries on earth , we must avoid all evil acts, do more merits things to all living beings and purify our mind. if we can do this, half of the worldly mental anguish will be solved!


  11. 3rdmind
    May 22, 2009 @ 15:38:05

    The result of leaving home must not necessary be ending in trouble, had the child not being influenced by peers of bad family brought ups. Perhaps the son has been mixing around with all kinds of people of UMNO mentality! So, it is the nation that has failed his son, the nation under BN sick mentality.


  12. cilipadi
    May 22, 2009 @ 15:38:09


    I agree with you. Even judges pass wrong judgement intentionally with bad faith, ill motive, and not of conscience shall be….

    A significance judgement in Bolehland in 30 mins…

    siapa makan cili, —- rasa pedas?


  13. pinsysu
    May 22, 2009 @ 16:04:20

    RPK is still my hero no matter what his son does.


  14. Dr Hsu
    May 22, 2009 @ 16:12:58

    The COurt of Appeal has ruled that Zamry is the MB.


  15. A true Malaysian
    May 22, 2009 @ 16:33:44

    Dr. Hsu,

    No one is happy. Not even the winning team.



  16. AY
    May 22, 2009 @ 16:55:33

    Dr Hsu,
    I have been reading your articles for quite some time. Firstly, I want to say it is very rare to get someone who writes with a pure and clear conscience as yourself. Your articles are not only informative, inspirational and motivating. As a Gerakan member your loyalty is not “blind loyalty” to the extend of sacrificing your principles. Moral principles and wisdom are so lacking these days. I would like to wish you good health and may you continue to contribute to the Malaysian society.


  17. Disgusted
    May 22, 2009 @ 17:30:20

    The Chinese believed the “square above the head”, 6 inches above the head. In western mythology and religious text, illustrated the halo, which the movie, “The Saint, Simon Templer” in the 60s or 70s.

    Anyway, the “halo” is the uppermost “aura” of a holy saint or sage or prophet.

    The aura radiates the energy of the human kind and colors depict the mood, character and thinking of the person. In spirituality, a human body has some 9 main psychic centers and thousands smaller ones. It is “believed” that the square above the body is one of it.

    When a person dies, the “eternal spirit” leaves the physical body through one of the psychic centers which begins above the head and spans to the “anus” (another center).

    A morally and spiritually cultivated person upon death, the spirit leaves from the head or via the “square” (you mentioned) to spiritual planes of existence or “heaven” most are familiar with this term.

    Of course, the crooks and idiots….well, your guess is as good as mine, these “assholes” is the channel for many of them….going to hell planes and low astral planes (of existence). Then what do you think we called these crooks, “assholes.”

    In Buddhism, founding Gautama Buddha actually saw (with his psychic eye) this phenomenon, people dying and their spirits departing from the “ass-holes” (pardon the term) and few leaving through the head.

    Cilipadi, If you could see, ha. ha….maybe those assholes have increased with the Perak coup, ya?



  18. A true Malaysian
    May 22, 2009 @ 17:32:52

    My personal opinion is that, if they are so hard-up to win by whatever means, let them win. Rakyat who determine who is the ultimate winner.

    There is no point of appealing against the CoA ruling. What Nizar and the rest in PR should do is to recruit and train more youngsters to strengthen their grassroots so that in time to come, more quality MPs and Aduns can be churned out instead of the 3 frogs that betrayed their dignities.

    Lost a battle and you shall win a war later. A fresh election in Perak is still imminent, either they want it or not. Ultimately, rakyat is still the boss, not the court, political party, monarchy or whatever you named them, in a democracy.

    Substance over form, Nizar is still the man.


  19. cilipadi
    May 22, 2009 @ 17:59:56


    You are really good in your spiritual knowledge. All I know is the “5 precepts” of Buddha’s teachings which is actually, in simple term, MORALITY. I see a person from this angle, as simple as that.

    Definitely, more assholes in production line with Perak coup. The longer it drags, the more assholes there will be.

    What would you see if these assholes are stuffed with cilipadi?

    siapa makan cili, asshole rasa pedas


  20. Dr Hsu
    May 22, 2009 @ 18:45:05

    Thanks for the kind words.
    I am writing from my heart and I will continue to write from my heart.



  21. Meng
    May 22, 2009 @ 20:43:50

    Reminds me of some MCA members who were straight and honest prior to becoming a member of that silly party MCA. But after a while they get so corrupted and want everything for free.

    Some of them are so rich when coming to pay their association subscription of $20/- per year, they just ignore. Ask them to contribute to the employment of guards these idiots will say see how first.

    Pariah punya MCA chinese. Want ppl to repair their house but don’t want to sign any agreement. Real pariah.

    Any difference between these Pariah MCA Chinese and RPK’s son. RPK’s son is mamy times better for he has admitted his guilt. Will these pariah MCA chinese admit their guilt and greed???


  22. Disgusted
    May 22, 2009 @ 21:18:04


    That depends. When the party elections is around the corner and the MCA guy (i.e. chairman of division or branch), he is willing to fork out thousands to pay the subscriptions (in order to send the maximum delegates who will give him the votes) in order to boost the membership-in-benefit before qualifying for the numbers.

    Many not-so-pariah members have joined the PKR. Leaving the die-hards and of course the pariahs.


    I am not good in the spiritual knowledge, just life long learning on “the truth” (realities and facts) and thank heavens, this truth has nothing to do with the courts and judges have no bloody say to pass a verdict whether it is truth or falsehood.

    After all, judges will grow old and finally be judged by the divine laws. There is no bad faith here. The Chinese says, “zee ke chap sang” especially bad judgements not based on principles, common sense and morality laws.

    What an ass judgement.



  23. Justin Choo
    May 22, 2009 @ 21:47:16

    Dr Hsu,
    When I first heard it in the news, my heart sank for RPK; for I know the feeling and sorrow of a parent who has naughty children.

    Let no one pass judgement on the parents, unless the one has gone through the sorrow of such experience.


  24. annoyed
    May 22, 2009 @ 23:31:58

    See how the victorious Umno lawyers said about their victory,

    “In accordance with other Commonwealth countries, the right to choose mentri besar and prime minister is the ultimate right of the sultan,” Hafarizam told reporters outside the courtroom in the Palace of Justice.

    “So the result today shows that the action by the sultan to appoint Zambry is one which is in accordance with the law,” he added.

    Another BN lawyer, Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin called the verdict historic as it justified the decision made by the sultan and the appointment of Zambry as lawful.

    “It is very important that this decision brings Malaysian law in-line with the laws throughout the Commonwealth, particularly also with the law in the United Kingdom.

    “That is the appointment of the chief minister and also the issue with the state assembly is the prerogative of the crown. So it is a very important decision in the law and of course they have the right to appeal but I think Barisan Nasional is very pleased and delighted with the decision,” Firoz told reporters.

    Haha, what a victory speech. I wonder where was Cecil Abraham. He was the one arguing the case, no?

    Like a Malay proverb, “Lembu punya susu, sapi punya name”


  25. batu giant
    May 23, 2009 @ 02:55:02

    I agree that RPK dont have to apologies at all, after all this son choose to do what he did and there is no reason even RPK name should even mention. However, I recalled MACC DG son is in similar situation. But during that time, opposition smear campaign are very well performed as well. I dont see any one opposed to that, why? why practice double standard? is it because RPK is Robin Hood status therefore he deserved the shoe polishing comments?


  26. Dr Hsu
    May 23, 2009 @ 09:29:45

    batu giant,
    In the 800 over posts of this blog, I have been consistent and in the case of MACC chief, i agreed that his son’s case should not been used against him.

    I have also never resorted to personal attacking, naming of names and so on.

    This forum blogs about issues, and you can see my style, I do not criticise persons but their policies and decisions.


  27. Disgusted
    May 23, 2009 @ 20:23:10

    Krishmuddin has raised ……..no, no. no, not the keris,

    …..but police power. Raided DAP headquarters, seized PCs and DVDs.


  28. klm
    May 23, 2009 @ 20:49:08

    Dr. Hsu. The umno controlled media have been blasting RPK’s son story. So you can see the kind of unprincipled people they are. I am sure KTK is happy to associate with them.


  29. batu giant
    May 25, 2009 @ 02:09:25

    RPK being dragged thru the mud is not only good news for certain idiots in BN but I heard some one in PR is happy as well.


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