Saturday, December 7

Too shaken to go back to school

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Unprovoked attack by four strangers at school canteen traumatises 14-year-old

KUCHING: His left eye is redder than, if not as red as, a rabbit’s. He was not born with red eyes nor does he suffer from conjunctivitis or any other eye disease.

Winstien Baleng

Winstien Baleng

Having a red eye was not his choice. It was just ill-luck that he happened to be at his school canteen on a Friday evening which had a violent ending.

He claimed that he did not know who assaulted and smashed his head against a table. Yet he believed that his assailants were not from his school.

As a result of that unprovoked attack by four strangers, Winstien Baleng now fears going to school.

The  14-year-old  student of  SMK  Datuk  Patinggi Haji Abdul Gapor appeared shy and was obviously still reeling from the trauma of the attack when met at the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Kuching Service Centre at Chonglin Park yesterday.

He was accompanied by his father.

He tried to recall the moment of the attack, but he simply had no clue why he was targeted by the foursome.

Mainly because of the horrific pain, he remembered how the attackers rammed his head against a table, which was when his left eye got injured.

This attack took place last Friday, Jan 29.

“Around 5.30pm, I was told to go to the school hall. On my way there, four persons beat me up.

“They targeted my head. It was only later that I found out that they attacked me because they suspected me of telling on a few truant students,” he stuttered.

After the assault, his father took him to a health clinic before lodging  a  police report  at  the One-Stop Centre at Simpang Tiga around  8pm on the same day.

They were then asked to go to the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) for a thorough check-up to facilitate police investigation.

Wishing to know the reason for the violence, the father went to see the school principal last Saturday (Jan 30).

The principal told him that the police were investigating the case.

Winstien said some teachers in the school knew he was  attacked that evening but none  shouldered the responsibility of taking him to a health clinic or hospital.

Although the injury to his eye seems severe, he was optimistic because he still could see.

“It is not as painful as three days ago,” he said.

Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament Chong Chieng Jen condemned the violence and questioned the school security.

“Such a violent act is not acceptable especially in school. Since the school said the case is being investigated, we will wait for the result.

“In the meantime, I will write to the Education Ministry to highlight the incident. In this case, security of the school is lacking because it happened during school hours and at the school  canteen,” said the state DAP secretary.

Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, hoped that the authorities concerned would immediately look into the case to prevent similar incidents from happening again.