MIRI: A video which has gone viral on social media showing a teacher at a secondary school in Johor being quizzed by a woman believed to be the mother of a student who had been caned received mixed reactions from the public.
Senator Alan Ling, when contacted by The Borneo Post, said it is time to look into strengthening the psychological quality of teachers so that they can cope with strong work pressure and resist provocation and have the required ability to handle situations maturely.
Pointing out that provocation, especially verbal, is common, Ling emphasised that one has to endure it with wisdom and use the proper channel if one feels insulted and hurt, but not to take the law into their own hands, either verbally or physically.
“Do not lose your cool, be patient, maintain good Emotional Quotient (EQ) and being professional are the key,” advised Ling, who is a lawyer by profession.
He added that unless it is self-defence recognised under the law when one is faced with imminent danger, any kind of battery (assault) like ‘over caning’ could be classified under the Penal Code as crime and subject to severe punishment.
He said teenagers are still immature and need guidance along their growing circle and if it is proven that the teacher is the one who injured the student inflicted by the caning which was not at the proper part of the body, proper actions shall be taken.
Ling, who is also a member of Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF), hoped the matter will be resolved amicably and that there is no serious injury on the student and that she is not traumatised.
Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, meanwhile, said as a teacher, he should be able to control his emotions, adding the actions of hitting the student with injuries on some parts of the body is seen as an outrageous act to release anger.
“Teachers are certainly trained but nonetheless each individual has their own weaknesses especially in terms of controlling emotions when students behave rudely such as by mentioning inappropriate titles to teachers.
“I feel that students who behave rigidly and do not respect their teacher should be subject to disciplinary action or go through the process of counselling or social work until they repent and the teacher should know the limit when punishing the student,” he explained.
Commenting further, Lukanisman said parents however should not be too excited in viralling the video as if they want the public to give the final punishment to the teacher.
“Parents and teachers should talk to find the solutions because when it is recorded, the video will definitely trigger suspicion on the school or the teacher involved.
“The ministry should look into this matter thoroughly and to put aside the comments from netizens.
“Students’ moral behaviour should still be the centre of teaching in this modern-day learning and school teachers should be aware that their actions are now vulnerable to ‘virality’ on social media sites,” he stressed.
Public sector worker and a mother of four, 47-year-old Mazlina Alias, said the teacher, the student and the mother have to think about the consequences of their actions.
“The student should never call the teacher like that, the teacher should never cane the student in such a way and the mother should never share the video on social media. Yes, the caning is really bad and I hope the student won’t be traumatised.
“I believe it is the responsibility of the parents too, to teach good manners to their children and the teacher should control his emotion as well. On the other hand, the teacher might have his own problem until he can’t handle the pressure being called that.
“With this video being viralled and with netizens’ comments, I hope this will not put more pressure on the teacher, the student nor the mother and it would be better to leave the case to the school to solve it,” she told The Borneo Post.
There are rules and regulations on caning which are meant to protect students and the Education Ministry’s 2003 circular on the matter, among others, prohibits public caning and the caning of female students.
And according to the ministry’s circular, being rude to a teacher is considered a serious offence warranting a maximum of three strokes on the posterior with a light cane.