'Ragging' hits M'sian boarding schools

'Ragging' hits M'sian boarding schools

Late at night when the school wardens were asleep, a junior student was forced by his seniors to meet them in the school pantry.

They then set upon him. Such stories of "ragging" or bullying are familiar in Malaysia, The Star Online found after speaking to 40 current and former Malaysian boarding school students.

"He was beaten quite badly. After the session, we had to carry him back to the dorm because he couldn't walk," said a former student who wanted to be known as Mr Amir.

He recalled the above experience during his years in one of Malaysia's prestigious boarding schools. The victim lodged a police report and the culprits were suspended.

But it is one of the few cases which have come to light, The Star reported. The majority of cases go unreported, due to obedience and fear of further torment conditioned by hierarchical student politics. Students also do not report abuse because they are apprehensive of tarnishing their school's "good image".

The numbers of cases are especially high in boarding schools compared with day schools due to distant parental figures and inadequate adult supervision.

Among 15 girls interviewed, six had witnessed or experienced ragging in their schools.

Of 25 boys interviewed, 24 admitted to either having experienced or witnessed bullying in their schools. Some even owned up to being the aggressors.

While both boys and girls are expected to carry out miscellaneous "chores" for their seniors like preparing food and cleaning rooms, the experiences shared by the boys were of a more extreme nature.

Students said they were kicked, slapped, punched and made to march and run around the school compound.

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