A 17-second video recording of a child in a classroom in Malaysia saying her father is good at making air ketum has prompted a public outcry against the teacher who is believed to have made the recording
The recording was later uploaded on TikTok, the hugely popular video-sharing platform that has become one of the go-to social platforms among Generation Z to even local politicians.
In the video recording uploaded on TikTok, that has been viewed by SAYS, the child is seen answering her teacher's question about her father being good at making air ketum.
An indigenous psychotropic plant of Southeast Asia and part of the coffee family, ketum — whose scientific name is mitragyna speciosa — is prohibited in Malaysia under Section 30 (3) Poisons Act 1952. It is used in traditional medicines due to the fact that it has opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects.
The 17-second video shows the girl in a classroom filled with other young students. The person making the recording is not seen in the video but their voice is heard, who identifies herself as cikgu.
She asks the pupils whether their fathers were good at cooking. At which point, the mobile camera zooms in on the child, who made the air ketum remark, prompting the class to burst into laughter.
SAYS is in possession of the TikTok video and the handle which has more than 29,000 followers, but is choosing not to share them publicly to protect the privacy of the young students who are all girls.
The teacher, accused of spreading the video on social media, admitted to making the recording during one of the learning sessions. However, she claims that the only person she sent it to was the student's mother.
"I recorded and sent the video only to my student's mother in the hope that if it is true, that my student's father makes 'air ketum', I hope the parents can keep their child safe," she said, according to Akhi Fairuz Al-Jengkawi, a local YouTuber, who took to his social media accounts to share the teacher's message.
"Maybe I was wrong to have recorded the video but I did not spread it," the teacher added, explaining that she sent the video to the student's mother on WhatsApp after the class ended.
However, she was surprised when the mother contacted her claiming that the video was viral.
"I'm not crazy to embarrass people like that at all, for God's sake I just shared the video only with the mother of the student involved as a concerned teacher to tell her about her child in the class," she said.
According to the 40-year-old teacher, the incident should not be extended anymore as whatever the misunderstanding, everything had been resolved amicably between all relevant parties.
"Everything was settled when I met with the parents at the District Education Office (PPD). I made a written report, which was signed by the student's parents, who said they don't want to raise this matter."
Meanwhile, the president of the National Parents-Teacher Associations Consultative Council (PIBGN) has remarked that teachers must be in control of themselves so their actions don't embarrass any party
"Never spread something that is not good as it could prompt negative perceptions," PIBGN president Associate Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Ali Hassan was quoted as saying by Harian Metro.
"Remember, once a teacher, always a teacher. And a teacher not only plays a role in imparting knowledge but also needs to set an example and good morals, especially not to spread negative things that can cause negative perceptions and embarrassment to the family, parents or students themselves," he said.
Similarly, the president of the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) said that the matter is serious as it involves a child
"It should not have happened. It sullies the image of the family and the child," NUTP president Aminudin Awang said, adding that the NUTP was waiting for more information on the matter.
On the other hand, Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said that his ministry will investigate if there were elements of cyberbullying with regards to the spread of the video
"I have not seen the video yet, (but) I will investigate and get information," he said.
"There are times when we do not notice, we just share the usual things and to us it is nothing. However, doing so could cause stress for the people involved, who may need our help."
In other news, the revelation about PAS Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali not undergoing the mandatory 14-day home quarantine after returning from overseas has resulted in people expressing anger: