GEORGE TOWN, Jun 10 – The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) hope that the Malaysian Government set up a Commission of Inquiry to examine the problem in detail and to determine what remedial actions can be taken to address the problem of bullying in schools.
Its president S.M Mohamed Idris said CAP is searching for the state of bullying in Malaysian schools to be very disturbing. He said the bullying phenomenon has reached a point where it can now be considered a social epidemic. He said it would seem that if they do not find a way to tackle this problem immediately, the society is going to turn into a violent one.
“However, as with all problems, before we can work towards eradicating it we must first determine the causes or the contributing factors of the problem. If we consider that children are greatly affected by the actions or inactions of their parents (the people who most strongly influence them in their early years), then the main contributing factor to bullying in Malaysian schools is most likely the lack of parenting in families nowadays,” Idris said in the statement here on Thursday.
“This situation is brought on by the demands of the materialistic mentality of our society. CAP has always been against this way of life which is dictated by consumerism – where people are willing to forsake everything, even the precious time with their children, so that they may buy the latest gadgets and gizmos,” he said.
This way of life and thinking makes it so that both parents have to work to ensure they can make enough money to fulfil their excessive “wants” (in a two-parent family). People should live simply and focus just on their “needs”. If they did then only one parent would need to work and the other would be free to love and nurture their children,” he said.
Idris said this would be the ideal way of child rearing compared to the norm of parents leaving their children to be raised by impersonal caretakers. Besides that, he also said that the educational system’s approach to inculcating moral values in children leaves much to be desired and is probably another cause for the rampant bullying that is happening in our schools.
He said children are taught Islamic Studies, Moral Studies and Civics Studies as part of the curriculum in schools. He said, however the way children are taught these subjects is just to promote scoring “As” on exams and not to shape a moralistic human being. He also added that it would be more beneficial if our formal education system actually made children practice good moral values as part of the syllabus instead of just teaching them “how to be a moral person”.