Temiar girl tied up and beaten by 3 teachers
Published: 29 June 2015
Accused of stealing some money from a teacher, a Standard 4 Temiar schoolgirl was tied up and beaten by three teachers at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Betis on 15 June 2015. She was also kicked. Her body had numerous bruises on her face, arms and thigh.
We got to know of this the next day when our group returned to Kuala Betis from Kampung Pahong in Gua Musang. The JOAS-COAC team together with 12 community leaders and organizers from PACOS-Sabah had spent the night in Kampung Pahong for the last of the 3-day sewang held to end the mourning period of the late Pakcik Arom.
Discussion with JOAS-COAC-PACOS before visiting the girl's family.
The newly-formed JOAS (Temiar) Women's group based in Kampung Angkek was upset over the incident and was not sure how to go about getting redress. Fortunately in our group were teachers and trainers from PACOS-Sabah who were experienced in handling such cases, including providing the necessary counseling for the victim.
After a short discussion, the women decided to visit the girl and her parents and to encourage them to make a police report. And also to plan further action. Our group also joined them. Interviews were conducted with the girl and the family to get the full story.
Trying to get the girl's side of the story. The bruises and swelling were still visible a day after the beating.
According to Deena, the girl's aunt, the girl was tied up and beaten by Cikgu Saki, Cikgu Arif and Cikgu Salib the day before (15 June 2015), until her face and arms were bruised, while her thigh was kicked by the teachers. The aunt brought the girl to the nearby government clinic the next day. The doctor took some photographs of the injuries and said that a report would be prepared once a police report was lodged.
It was the girl's grandmother, Andak binti Caling, who eventually made the police report at the Gua Musang district police station on 27 June 2015.
Andak outside her house which is a distance away from the main village. Hence her fears that somebody can easily cause her harm without anyone knowing.
This was not the end of the story. On Sunday, 28 June 2015, a friend of one of the teachers, an Encik Ali, who is known to the girl's grandmother, visited her at her farm house. He came with his wife and two children. He asked Andak to withdraw the police report, intimating that the teacher had connections with the police and that she can face a tough time the whole year ahead, having to make statement after statement.
He also told her that the teacher had evidence that the girl had stolen the money. Then he left.
But he also left the grandmother in a state of fear and great stress. She contacted JOAS project coordinator Yein who promptly made a police report on the matter that night at the Subang Jaya police station. (See earlier note for the police report.)
That same day, word was being received from the school that the headmaster and some teachers wanted to meet the grandmother the next day (Monday) to ask her to withdraw the police report. A small support group was galvanized to reassure Andak and to work out the next course of action.
The headmaster and some others did make a visit to Andak at her house on Monday.
Some of the members of the JOAS-Women (Temiar section) discussing the case on 16 June 2015.
But at about the same time a meeting was called for at Kampung Parik for some community leaders to meet and discuss the case. Nora, Deena and Andak of the women's group attended, as did Dendi, Alang, Daud and Anjang of the Temiar network, among others.
The general consensus is that teachers who gang up among themselves to hit helpless children should not be allowed to teach in schools. No matter what the reason they may say they have for doing so. And schools should not protect such teachers.
The group resolved that they did not want to meet the teachers but instead wanted the police to investigate the case fully.
Also present at the meeting was local lawyer Siti Zainah who agreed to make sure the case is taken up by the Public Prosecutor.
The case has been verbally reported to SUHAKAM, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, during a visit by JOAS leaders to the Commission on 23 June 2015.
We have been hearing of a number of similar cases happening to Orang Asli schoolchildren in Kelantan and Perak especially. JOAS, the Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia, is now asking our members to report such cases to us so that a list can be compiled to show the extent of such crimes being committed in Orang Asli schools.
CN-COAC | 29 June 2015