KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry has no plans to abolish corporal punishment, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon.
“We are open to discussions if the public feels that we should abolish corporal punishment, but for now, we have a different view,” he told reporters after handing out prizes to winners of the national level Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca (Nilam) here yesterday.
Chong was responding to renewed calls from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to abolish corporal punishment in schools following the death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi in a private religious school.
On Thursday, Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail argued that corporal punishment “is a violation of a child’s rights under the Convention of the Rights of the Child”.
Chong said the ministry has strict procedures with regards to corporal punishment.
“Only headmasters and principals are allowed to administer it, and even then, only on boys, and not in public.
“When students commit disciplinary offences, they will be counselled first.
“You cannot simply cane students as the ministry has standard operating procedures on the matter,” he said while expressing sadness over Mohamad Thaqif’s death in a private tahfiz.
Chong also agreed with Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid’s stand that all tahfiz schools should be registered with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).