KANGAR - Five of six students who were recorded in a video bullying and assaulting a smaller boy have been charged in the Juvenile Court here.
The boys aged between 13 and 14, together with another 15-year-old boy who is still at large, were jointly charged under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting.
The five teens yesterday claimed trial to the charge of causing hurt and using violence against an 11-year-old boy between May 31 and June 1 at the Dr Siti Hasmah Orphanage hostel in Jejawi near here.
Their actions were recorded on a seven-minute video which went viral on Wednesday, drawing criticism from the public who urged the police to act immediately.
In the video, the 11-year-old was seen sobbing and begging for mercy while the boys physically assaulted him.
Magistrate Norhayati Ibrahim set Dec 24 for mention and fixed bail at RM500 (S$194) for each accused with one surety. The teens did not post the bail and have been remanded.
In Kota Kinabalu, Education director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said two of the boys had been expelled from school.
The ministry, he said, was committed in ensuring a safe environment for students.
"All teachers, headmasters, students and Education Department personnel will be held responsible if they are found to be harbouring offenders or keeping an incident hush-hush," he added.
Between January and June, he said the police and other authorities received reports about 13,359 students committing various offences.
Out of this number, 1,314 were cases of bullying while 4,568 were about gangsterism and criminal acctivities, he said.
On another bullying incident involving a suspect wearing a black singlet, Bukit Aman assistant chief of the Inspector-General of Police secretariat Asst Comm Datin Asmawati Ahmad said the incident happened in a school in Pontian, Johor, in 2010.
She said the main perpetrator in the video, which has also gone viral, had been expelled from school for various disciplinary problems not related to the video.