Bullying takes many forms throughout our lives


By Clement Stanley

My heart goes out to the families of Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain and T Nhaveen. Both youths were subjected to heartbreaking cruelty in the form of bullying.

Both are now in a far, far better place than on Earth which showed them nothing but untold misery, a loss of dignity and lack of the human spirit. And, ultimately, it cost them their lives.

Regrettably, it also showed us the ugly side of fellow human beings.

Experts tell us what makes bullies, from the home to the schools, colleges, universities and the office.

Bullying, unfortunately, does not come only in a physical form. It also takes an emotional and spiritual form, the scars of which are less tangible and go unnoticed.

Whatever advice or suggestions put forward by the numerous experts after a tragic incident will at best remain mere advice and suggestions unless they are taken seriously and acted upon.

Whether we care to admit it or not, bullying continues to follow us throughout the days of our life in one form or the other. It may not involve physical bullying once you have reached a certain age, but it continues to haunt us in an emotional form.

When you have nincompoops who are racists, bigots and religious fanatics, emotional bullying continues unabated.

Take the case of politicians like Ali Tinju and Jamal Yunos. Like it or not, when you remove the facade and look deeper into their agendas, all you come across is emotional bullying.

If the threat by Ali Tinju to ambush Maria Chin Abdullah of Bersih, stating that he was “worried she may no longer walk on this earth”, is not seen as a form of bullying, then we have failed as a society to understand the depths by which bullying is exercised.

We mourn for the many children and teenagers who tragically lose their lives as a result of physical bullying because we can relate to it as parents, siblings, relatives and friends.

But who will mourn for the likes of Maria and others like her who are emotionally bullied?

Who will mourn for the emotionally bullied sister, wife and mother, I ask?

We may never mourn for them but the least we can do while we can is to show what real love means, what tenderness means and a caring heart can do.

Unfortunately, for Zulfaran and Nhaveen, the people responsible for their untimely deaths showed them none of these considerations. They were shown no pity.

We may never have known them but we know what they went through.

May the souls of Zulfarhan, Nhaveen and many others like them rest in peace.

*Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.

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