Cast aside emotions in caning issue, urges Maszlee

Education Minister Maszlee Malik says society has a responsibility to ensure the students we mould in schools are polite and well-mannered.

PETALING JAYA: Education Minister Maszlee Malik has called on the people to put aside their emotions and sentiments over the incident in which a teacher caned a schoolgirl for calling him an “ah gua” (effeminate).

In a statement, Maszlee said he understood the concerns of teachers and the public over the incident, and that it needs to be handled holistically as it involved a student’s conduct towards a teacher and a teacher’s reaction towards an unexpected situation.

“As I stressed yesterday, this case will be handled fairly according to the existing regulations and the findings will be made public.

“Justice is so important because we do not only have to be fair to the student, but also the teacher involved.”

Maszlee added he is always concerned over the welfare of teachers and the ministry was committed to ensuring teachers received full support in executing their duties and further improved the mental and emotional support given to teachers.

“At the same time, parents need to cooperate with teachers in educating their children. Society has a responsibility to ensure the students we mould in schools are polite and well-mannered.”

Teachers, he said, must also instil values in their children and abide by the laws.

In calling for people to put aside their emotions, Maszlee said any extreme views must be rejected.

The Johor state Education Department is investigating the caning incident after a video went viral showing a woman, believed to be the girl’s mother, confronting the teacher.

Pictures of the girl’s hand and leg, bearing red welts from the caning, were also in the video.

Yesterday, Noor Azimah Abdul Rahman, a member of the National Education Advisory Council, called for action against the teacher for breaching the rules and regulations on caning.

The education ministry’s 2003 circular on caning prohibits public caning and the caning of female students.