Monday, January 5, 2015


I was on my working visit to some schools in Kedah and decided to pay a personal visit to the home of school bully victim, Muhammad Ridzuan bin Mohammed Ismail from Sekolah Kebangsaan Iskandar, Alor Setar. The incident took place in December 2014. I am deeply saddened with this incident and incidents of bullying in our schools.  This is a dangerous culture and behaviour that we need to put a stop to!  It requires the combined efforts of all involved and not just the school or the Ministry of Education.
There are many facets to bullying including verbal, emotional, physical and even cyber bullying. However, it is human tendency to only take matters seriously when it is our children who are the victims or perpetrators of such acts. Instead of reacting to the issue, I wish to appeal to all parents to work together with the school and the Ministry of Education to prevent such incidents from happening.
More often than not, we find that victims of bullying do not report the matter to the school authorities.  The Ministry of Education is committed to change this attitude and provide channels for victims of bullying to feel safe and protected when reporting a bullying incident.  The school should be a place where the students feel safe, with an environment that supports social and intellectual growth.
Though the cases of reported bullying is only 0.05% of the total student population of more than 5 million, it is a still a worrying trend that we wish to eradicate completely.
The Ministry of Education is very concerned about the act of bullying in schools and will not compromise in taking stern action against those caught in this act.   All schools have been given clear guidelines on this matter and we have also taken proactive measures to address this issue in schools.

The ministry has taken the following measures to address and mitigate the existence of a bullying tendency among students ;

i.                    Appointment of a professional teacher counselor for every 500 students in a school
ii.                  Identifying and providing dedicated counseling for problematic students 
iii.              Providing an effective platform in schools  for students to provide feedback or complaint
iv.           Organising orientation programs for new students to get to know the school, teachers and students better

In addition to the above, since 2014, the ministry has started a program called Healthy Mind (Minda Sihat) to help students in secondary schools to manage stress, anxiety and the feeling of low morale due to environment, family or personal matters.

I wish to again appeal to the parents and students to play a critical role in this issue by coming forward to report any form of ragging or bullying that they may have information on inside the school.  The school is duty bound under our Standard Operating Procedure to report such matters to the state education department and the ministry, and at the same time take immediate action, wherever necessary.

Let us together put a stop to bullying in our schools!

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