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Control over others is one reason for ragging, says expert
Thu, Jul 01, 2010
The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - Different people have different motives to indulge in ragging, said psychologist Dr Goh Chee Leong.

"A minority of them have sadistic tendencies who obviously enjoy being cruel to others, while some others enjoy the control over their juniors," said Dr Goh also the HELP University College vice-president.

However, he said the majority of those who participated in ragging accepted this was the norm when one entered university.

"There is a mistaken belief that a way to integrate juniors is through fear. As a psychologist, I do not think it is necessary. In fact this culture should not be allowed at all," he said, calling for a zero-tolerance policy in schools for such forms of bullying.

The solution, he said, was to give respect.

"It is proven through numerous psychological research that by giving respect you get respect," said Dr Goh, who is also involved in a joint project between HELP University College, Unicef and the Ministry of Education to prevent bullying and violence in schools.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong said ragging which involved humiliating acts was out of date.

"Orientation activities should not be done in such a way that would cause physical injury or mental distress," he said.

Chong said orientation for freshies should be a time for fun and bonding, but not to the extent that somebody got hurt. "In any case of physical abuse, those responsible should be punished," he added.

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said ragging must not be tolerated.

"There have been several fatalities arising from ragging. Unless we put a stop to it, many more deaths will occur creating more trauma for students," he said.

He also urged related ministries to issue directives to all academic institutions to stop all forms of ragging.

-The Star/Asia News Network

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