PETALING JAYA: Those in positions of authority who do not step in to stop bullying, or who blame the victims, are equally guilty of supporting bullying, says Wanita MCA chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie.
“The authorities or persons in positions of trust and power must not take the easy way out by levying blame on the victim as to why one has been deliberately taunted, harassed physically or in cybersphere, and beaten to a pulp or left for dead by bullies,” she said.
She said those in authority who were complacent despite being aware of bullying were equally guilty of tacit support of bullying.
“Even worse, when they start to blame the victim, laugh group bullying off as ‘children playing and joking’ or cajole the victim or the parents to retract reports made against their alleged gang of offenders and transfer their victimised child out of their school into another school,” said Heng when commenting on the case of T. Nhaveen who died on Thursday after being brutally attacked by several bullies.
She said in Nhaveen’s case, there was a need for collective social responsibility, as his untimely death indicated that some youths in society were really sick.
“Society has to cease having stereotyped notions that being a ‘man’ equals to becoming a thug who bullies, and that soft-spoken, slender, pint sized, polite males are deemed effeminate,” she said in a statement yesterday.
Heng said school bullying by boys and girls occurred in both primary and secondary schools, though the majority of cases do not reach the press.
She added that the issue, as well as gangsterism among students, had long been neglected and must be addressed and tackled immediately through a joint effort from all agencies.
“Besides the law being imposed on the assailants, public education to promote awareness, conscience, kindness, peace, mutual respect and harmony is equally important,” said Heng.