PETALING JAYA: Heavier punishment is needed to deter school bullying, said Wanita MCA national chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie.
“This is because if no action or insufficient action is seen to be taken, this will set a bad precedent because other unreported cases of school bullies will be emboldened,” said Heng in a press release on Wednesday.
She said that school authorities should not wash their hands off the case by trying to hush it up or referring to it as an isolated case.
“Merely transferring the bully or victim to another school will not solve the problem at all but will cause the issue to fester,” said Heng.
She added that Wanita MCA agreed with National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng who had called for heavier punishments for school bullies.
“The Education Ministry must improve on its SOP (standard operating procedure) on dealing with school bullies,” she added.
Heng also said that those on the receiving end of bullying should receive counselling to give them the confidence to face society again.
She said this in response to a viral video of a Year Six pupil being beaten up by his schoolmate at a religious school in Putatan on August 30.
Commenting on the incident, Heng quoted a report by The Star Online that the attack was triggered after the victim allegedly teased his tormentor about his late father.
“If this is indeed the situation, school pupils must be taught that it is unacceptable to make fun of anyone who is grieving over a loss of a family member,” she said.
Heng added that it was unlikely for Year 6 students to have the emotional maturity to handle insults concerning the death of a loved one, saying that even adults would likely be offended and emotionally hurt if anyone were to insult them on their tragic loss.
However, she said that the bully should not have turned physically abusive, as violence in any manner for any reason is wrong.
“Nevertheless, if the victim did indeed tease the tormentor, the former should not have done so but sympathise with the grief,” she said.
Penampang district police chief Deputy Supt Rosley Hobden had earlier said that the two 12-year-olds had been called in by the police to give their statements.
The 147-second video that went viral on social media shows a schoolboy punching, strangling and slapping his schoolmate.
The boy had also used a plastic chair to hit the other boy in the incident.