PETALING JAYA: Following the recent death of a navy cadet who had allegedly been bullied, social media users have taken to Twitter to recount their own suffering at the hands of bullies.
The tweets came after PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, in a 60-second video, urged the online community to share their experiences.
Many of the victims spoke of being ragged as students newly enrolled in hostels.
A Twitter user who called herself Sweet Syifa wrote of ragging that involved stripping junior students of their clothing and verbally abusing them. She said she was told that the seniors did this because they viewed the juniors as siblings to be cared for.
Another user, JB, wrote: “Usually, the bullies are those who were bullied when they were juniors. It’s a cycle.”
Other users spoke of bullying that was not part of the ragging tradition. One of them recalled being punched in the chest and kicked around when he was in secondary school after he was mistaken for someone else. “But it’s in the past,” he said. “I’ll let it be.”
Laila Bahri said she had to put up with psychological abuse. One of the consequences of this was that she became lonely, she added. “I had to bear with judgemental people,” she said. “I’m still traumatised.”
Barry Allen said he was beaten and extorted for money when he was 12 years old. “Bystanders only watched when this happened.”
Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, a Malaysian National Defence University (UPNM) student, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Serdang Hospital on June 1. He was taken there by several friends. About 80% of his body was covered in bruises and burn marks.
He had allegedly been bound and beaten because of a dispute over a stolen laptop. He was said to have been tortured with a belt, a rubber hose, a clothes iron and a shirt hanger on May 20 and 21.
Police immediately detained 36 students from two public universities.
Syed Saddiq urged more people to come forward to write of their experiences, saying he hoped such sharing would result in an end to ragging and bullying.
“Together, we must break this wall of silence because silence can actually lead to death,” he said.
*Nurul Azwa and Afiqah Farieza contributed to this article.