The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will be embarking on nationwide roadshows and campaign after the Aidilfitri celebration, aimed at curbing bullying in schools.
Its minister Rohani Abdul Karim said the ministry would also incorporate the campaign against bullying into the awareness campaigns on the Child Act (Amendment) 2016 and sexual crimes.
“We (ministry) also want to ensure that actions are taken as we wish to put a stop to bullying. For me, the right penalty is the heaviest possible. This is to prevent (bullying), not to simply punish (the offenders).
“I have noticed that bullying have become rampant over the past month or two. Do we want our country’s image to be smeared with more of such cases? Let this be a lesson, stop bullying. We are a developed country, we have laws. So, enough is enough,” she told reporters after paying her last respects to T. Nhaveen at the Batu Gantung crematorium, in Penang, today.
Nhaveen, 18, had suffered serious injuries after being bullied and brutally assaulted by a group of teenagers early Saturday morning in Jalan Kaki Bukit, Taman Tun Sardon. He died at the Penang Hospital at 6pm yesterday.
Rohani urged the public to join the fight against bullying, especially involving school students and teenagers.
She also said that the family institution needed to play its part in fostering love and mutual respect among people in order to produce a younger generation that is tolerant and non-aggressive.
“Help us at the ministry because ultimately, we are all affected. Don’t let this happen to us and our family members. The (Nhaveen’s) family has suffered enough,” she said.
In related development, Health Minister Dr S. Subramaniam today called for more serious and drastic action by the authorities to curb what he described as the poisonous culture of bullying in schools and gangsterism among youths.
Subramaniam, who is also MIC president, said this was to ensure that the case of the assault and abuse of Nhaveen did not recur.
“I urge stern action to be taken against perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he said in a statement.
Subramaniam also expressed his deepest condolences to Nhaveen’s family.
He said it was heart-wrenching to note how violent behaviour among students could result in such a great loss to a family which had placed their hopes and aspirations on the future of their child.
“Our hearts go out to the parents of Nhaveen and their immediate family members. No words can aptly describe their grief and pain,” he said. – Bernama