Stop the Bullying Part 1: A long and tragic history - Nation | The Star Online
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Stop the Bullying Part 1: A long and tragic history


ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: PETALING JAYA: Malaysians collectively mourned the death of T. Nhaveen, the teenage victim of an assault that apparently had its roots in bullying.

While horrific in its details, his was only the latest in a series of such tragedies, and we look at some of them here.

On June 10, Nhaveen and his best friend T. Previin were allegedly beaten up by five young men when buying burgers. Previin escaped, but Nhaveen was later found unconscious in a field.

He had burns on his back and signs that a blunt object had been shoved into his anus.

He was in a coma for days before passing away on June 15.

Four teenage suspects have been charged under Section 326 of the Penal Code for murder.

According to Nhaveen's mother, at least one of the suspects had bullied him in school.

Nhaveen’s death came just about two weeks after 21-year-old Malaysian National Defence University (UPNM) student Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain died on June 1, after being allegedly tortured for two days over a dispute about a laptop computer.

Zulfarhan was said to have been bound, beaten and burned with an iron, and 80% of his body was covered in bruises and burn marks.

Five UPNM students have been charged with murder, while another has been charged with abetting the five in causing Zulfarhan's death.

Another 13 face charges under Section 330 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34, which provides for a jail term of seven years and a fine, upon conviction.

These two cases have raised public concern over bullying in schools, but the problem is not new.

 

In August 2003, a Form Four student had his damaged kidney removed in an operation after he was beaten by a group of seniors near his dormitory in Batu Pahat.

Mohd Hafizi Jumhari, then 16, was allegedly beaten by eight seniors at his school hostel after he was found chatting with a female student in a classroom.

 

In March 2004, 14 Form Five students from a religious school in Seremban beat a 16-year-old schoolmate to death.

The seniors allegedly attacked Mohamad Faris Ibrahim because they were jealous of him for being a top student.

Mohamad Faris was also popular with teachers despite being a newcomer to the school.

 

In June 2004, 13-year-old Mohd Afiq Qusyairi Baharuddin was beaten up by a group of bullies at a religious school in Kuala Lipis after they accused him of stealing a Walkman radio battery charger, which he denied.

He suffered spinal cord injuries from the attack, and there were fears that he would be permanently paralysed.

 

In August 2016, a Form Two student sustained serious head injuries and bleeding in his brain after he was beaten by three schoolmates in Sungai Petani.

Muhammad Anas, then 14, suffered a brain haemorrhage after he was allegedly beaten and had his head bashed against a wall during a fight.

 

In May this year, a 15-year-old boy died after he was allegedly forced to drink poison.

The teen was forced to what is believed to have been insecticide, by a group of youths after he allegedly chided them for sniffing glue.

The victim claimed the boys had pinned him down and forced him to drink the liquid.

 

Even children as young of nine can be bullies. In March 2016, a Year Two pupil snipped off the tip of his own tongue with a pair of scissors after he was bullied into doing so by five nine-year-old boys.

The boy was allegedly told by the bullies to cut his own tongue if he did not want them to punch him.

Frightened, the boy did as he was told.

 

Thanks to smartphones, a number of violent bullying cases has been caught on camera.

In May 2011, a video of a female secondary student being bullied by her classmates sparked uproar among netizens.

The victim’s hair was pulled and cut off, and she was also hit with books and strangled with a tie.

She was heard crying and pleading for the assault to stop, but her classmates ignored her and continued.

 

A video featuring seven students beating up a younger boy went viral on social media in 2014.

The incident happened at the dormitory of an orphanage in Kangar after the Year Five victim reportedly did not clean his room.

 

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In August 2016, a teenage boy was recorded having his private parts repeatedly rammed against a pole by a group of bullies.

The victim in the video can be heard crying out “sakit” (it hurts) throughout the attack.

 

In September 2016, a video of a Year Six pupil beating up his schoolmate went viral.

The 12-year-old schoolboy was filmed punching, strangling and slapping his schoolmate. He also used a plastic chair to hit the victim.

Police say the incident was triggered after the victim allegedly teased his tormentor about his late father.

 

The above cases are just the few that have made newspaper headlines, but there are many other cases that have gone unreported.

Bullying does not discriminate against gender, ethnicity or age. It can happen anytime, anywhere.

In many of these cases, nobody stopped the attack, resulting in serious injuries to the victim and sometimes even death.

It is time to stop the bullying!

Related stories:

Stop the Bullying Part 2: The long-term, wider effects of bullying

Stop the Bullying Part 3: Reliving the horrors of hazing and bullying

Stop the Bullying Part 4: The Bully Confesses

Children see, children follow

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