Teachers Tie Up And Beat A 10-Year-Old Orang Asli Schoolgirl For Allegedly Stealing Money

A Standard 4 Temiar schoolgirl was tied up and beaten by teachers at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Betis. She had numerous bruises on her face, arms and thigh.

Cover image via COAC

A 10-year-old Temiar pupil was tied up, kicked and beaten up by three of her teachers after being accused of stealing money from one of them, The Malaysian Insider reported citing Centre of Orang Asli Concerns(COAC), an advocacy group for the indigenous people

The 10-year-old Temiar pupil (far right) who was tied up and beaten by her teachers.

Image via COAC

The incident happened at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Betis in Gua Musang, Kelantan, on 15 June. The Standard 4 schoolgirl sustained bruises on the face, arms and thigh because of the beating.

“She was accused of stealing. We do not know if it is true but even if it is, this is not the right way to do it,” Nicholas told The Malaysian Insider. He had also posted about the incident on the COAC Facebook page.

A police source, however, confirmed with The Malaysian Insider that such an incident happened and the case was now being investigated under Section 323 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt. Nicholas said the case occurred on June 15 but did not know if any action had been taken against the teachers.

After being made aware about the incident, people from the indigenous people's advocacy group visited the girl and her parents to encourage them to make a police report. They conducted interviews with the girl and her family to get the full story.

The bruises and swelling were still visible a day after the beating.

Image via COAC

"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."

According to the report, there were attempts to get the girl's family to withdraw their report which was lodged by the victim's grandmother at the Gua Musang district police station on 27 June

"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."

The victim's 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.

Image via COAC

The case has been reported to SUHAKAM, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, during a visit by JOAS leaders to the Commission on 23 June, COAC posted on its FB page on 29 June

Image via COAC

"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."

Meanwhile, the teachers are still teaching at the school

“I was told that the teachers still teaching at the school. The headmaster did come to visit but had requested for the family to withdraw their report and let the school handle the matter internally. How can you do this?” said Nicholas.

"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."

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