The call for most severe criminal prosecution for the two bullying cases which had claimed the lives of navy cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain and teenager T Nhaveen is only a short-term solution for bullying, said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) chairperson Razali Ismail.
In a statement issued in Putrajaya today, he said such a call did not address the root cause of the escalating social problem of bullying because what was more important was early identification and problem-solving intervention.
“Suhakam underlines that the link between bullying and later delinquent and criminal behaviour cannot be ignored and early identification and intervention of bullying are, therefore, necessary to ensure that all children are safe.
“All adults are responsible for creating positive environments and ending violence in the lives of children and youth,” he said.
Razali said Suhakam reiterated that everyone has the right to be respected, and to be safe and free from violence, harassment, and bullying, as well as from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
“When bullying is left unchecked, parents, teachers, students, community and religious leaders, government, as well as all stakeholders are compelled to find a suitable formula to prevent bullying in a manner that protects all children and students including the society.
“Since bullying is a complex social problem that requires a multitude of approaches, the authorities must also demonstrate that our society can and must function within a culture of non-violence,” Razali said.
He said Suhakam was deeply saddened and joined in the national grief following the passing of Nhaveen and Zulfarhan, both of whom lost their lives prematurely, allegedly due to extreme bullying.
Suhakam also expressed its deepest condolences to the families, friends and the loved ones of Nhaveen and Zulfarhan.
Zulfarhan, 21, died on June 1 with torture and burn marks believed to be from a steam iron, while Nhaveen, 18, died last Thursday after being savagely beaten by a group of teenagers.