The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Who killed Nordin bin Mondong?

This might seem like a strange question to ask...after all, we have seen the pictures of the White Bengal Tigers who mauled him to death. However, I feel that matters no longer seem so simple.

Sun City Maintenance - his employer - have been revealed, in a recent video, to harbour abusive managers who have been recorded beating employees, relentlessly. It seems that, in some quarters at least, they have a culture of employee abuse.

In the New Paper, employees have anonymously complained of the way they are treated by Sun City. It seems that they are far from the ideal employers misleadingly portrayed in the press, subsequent to Nordin's horrible death.

Life is precious. No-one throws it away just for nothing. Nordin bin Mondong thought that being eaten alive by tigers was a better prospect than continuing in his present existence. What must his life have been like to make him think that death by teeth and claw was a better way forward? The video circulating around employees of Sun City and the Zoo is a clue. It shows a merciless beating of a foreign worker, in which no-one intervenes to help. A Zoo employee is seen to be nearby and does nothing.

So, it may be that Nordin bin Mondong was being bullied in his workplace. That is one possibility. There is, however, another certainty that we need to look at: his salary. Sun City said, at the time of the incident, that Nordin was earning 1,000 dollars (Singaporean money) per month. This is about 400 pounds sterling a month. I thought this an appallingly low salary and even then suspected it to have been a contributory factor in his death. However, it seems that Sun City lied to the press about Nordin's earnings. Other employees say that they are paid just 25 Singaporean dollars per day - or 775 dollars a month for 31 days non-stop work, a month. That is just 10 pounds sterling per day (in fact less).

Who can live on 25 dollars a day, and save money for his family back home? (Which was his purpose here...he was saving for his wedding next year, as well.) It strikes me as impossible to survive in oh-so-expensive Singapore on so little money. Surely, his economic situation may have driven him to despair.

Thus, we have two charges to lay against his employers, Sun City: Nordin may have been bullied, like others of his colleagues - and he was certainly underpaid. It seems likely that these two factors led to his decision to throw himself to the tigers. Death seemed a better outcome than the life he was leading. If this is so, then Sun City (who had tried to seem to so kind to his family, upon his death, by donating 3000 dollars to them), are guilty of his death, almost as surely if they had pushed him to the tigers themselves.

This matter deserves investigation. Was Nordin bin Mondong being bullied and harassed, perhaps even beaten, like at least one of his colleagues (the one on the video)? Was he unable to survive on his absurdly low salary?

We need answers to these questions - for perhaps other employees of Sun City face the same pressures that he did. The well-being of many others, may depend on understanding exactly why Nordin bin Mondong thought it better to die violently, than live at all.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 6:46 PM 


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