How did knives end up being sold in toy store?

I was deeply disturbed to read about the sale of dangerous weapons like karambit knives in a toy store popular with young people and families (Box-shop chain Hako pulls karambit knives from shelves after a 12-year-old buys one; ST Online, Sept 21).

It was also shocking to read one mother's comment that: "It was actually a very easy, casual buy, like they bought candy from someone."

This is a matter that should be of grave concern to every parent and grandparent.

Anecdotally, there appears to be more bullying incidents in schools. Of concern also is the violent nature of online games that children are playing these days and the kind of TV shows and movies they are exposed to.

I understand that the karambit knife is a curved bladed weapon primarily used in combat as a slashing or hooking device to cause ripping wounds.

It is a deadly melee weapon that has made appearances on dozens of shows, films, and video games.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and other agencies should investigate this case fully and share with the public the outcome of their investigations as to how weapons like this have come to be sold in a toy store.

If violations to the prevailing statues and regulations on such weapons are found, then the authorities should prosecute culprits to the full extent of the law.

Sattar Bawany (Professor)