KUALA LUMPUR: School children must be taught to respect and accept the uniqueness of individuals, including effeminate boys, said Suhakam commissioner Lok Yim Pheng.
Lok said boys who showed prominent female characteristics were sometimes taunted and bullied by their peers but this behaviour could be stopped by creating greater awareness of the minority group.
“Schools need to teach the young to respect everyone regardless of race, religion and those who are effeminate,” said the former secretary-general of the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP).
She was commenting on the case of 18-year-old T Nhaveen who is now “brain dead” at the Intensive Care Unit of the Penang Hospital after a group of youths allegedly assaulted him for being effeminate.
The group who beat, sodomised and burned the boy in Gelugor, Penang, last Friday included his schoolmates.
Police have arrested five suspects, aged 16 to 18, on a preliminary charge of rioting.
In another case last week, a Malaysian National Defence University navy cadet officer, Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, died in Serdang Hospital with 80% of his body covered in bruises and burn marks.
The 21-year-old was bound and beaten with a belt, rubber hose, iron and clothes hanger for days allegedly because of a dispute over a laptop, according to media reports.