PETALING JAYA: The move to allow 13 students, who allegedly assaulted a varsity mate to death, to continue studying at the Malaysian National Defence University (UPNM), has riled the victim’s father who is concerned they may inflict suffering upon other unsuspecting students.
Zulkarnain Idros, father of deceased navy cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman, said all the alleged perpetrators in the brutal bullying case should instead be expelled from the university.
“They have a record of bullying. What if they repeat their act on another student?” he said.
“It is the university’s right to offer them counselling. I can’t stop them. But that won’t bring my son back,” he told FMT today.
He was responding to Higher Education Minister Idris Jusoh’s statement on Friday, that all the 13 students, who were released on bail until re-mention of the case for voluntarily causing hurt would be allowed to resume their studies at the university.
Idris however clarified a statement yesterday that the 13 students he mentioned referred to those who were investigated for Zulfarhan’s death, but weren’t charged with any offence.
However Zulkarnain said that if he was the higher education minister, all the alleged bullies would have been expelled.
The grieving father however accepted that he did not have such powers.
“It’s just that it would be really sad if another student becomes their victim,” he said.
He also expressed his belief that even with counselling, the boys would not be able to change their ways and curtail their aggression.
Zulfarhan, 21, died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1 after he was allegedly abused over the supposed theft of a laptop.
It has been alleged that he was bound and beaten because of a dispute over a laptop and reportedly tortured with a belt, rubber hose, iron and hanger.
The students, all aged 21, were brought to court on June 14 to face charges for voluntarily causing hurt under Section 330 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34, for which they can be jailed for seven years and be liable to a fine upon conviction.
Five other UPNM students were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder. They face the mandatory death sentence if convicted.
Despite his apprehension over the 13 being allowed back, Zulkarnain said he was concerned about the mental well-being of those accused of killing Zulfarhan.
“I’m worried that they’ll be traumatised if they resume their studies at UPNM. Their names are already associated with the case and they may be alienated by their friends because of it.
“If I were their friends, I too would be afraid that I might get beaten up for saying the wrong thing,” he said.