Vic­tim glad two-year le­gal bat­tle fi­nally over

New Straits Times - - Front Page - AU­DREY DERMAWAN NIBONG TEBAL au­dreymd@nst.com.my

“JUS­TICE is served... the truth has fi­nally pre­vailed.”

So said 38-yearold L. Vanitha, who was slapped by a pupil’s mother two years ago af­ter the 10-year-old boy com­plained that the pri­mary school teacher had al­legedly pinched him for be­ing slow in class. Vanitha taught the boy Ba­hasa Malaysia then.

Yes­ter­day, mag­is­trate Shamshol Azwa Mar­tadza sen­tenced the boy’s mother, Tan Seow Yen, 35, to six months’ jail and fined her RM2,000 for caus­ing hurt to Vanitha at the na­tion­al­type Chi­nese school in Sun­gai Bakap at 5.15pm on Feb 2, 2015.

Shamshol, in his judg­ment, ruled that the de­fence had failed to raise rea­son­able doubt in their case.

Vanitha was present in court with her fa­ther, V. Lo­ganathan, 83, and mother S. Mageswari, 66.

A red-haired Tan, who came alone, was ex­pres­sion­less when the ver­dict was read out to her. She was led out in hand­cuffs.

Her ap­pear­ance in court yes­ter­day was an about-turn from her ap­pear­ance last week when she had threat­ened pho­tog­ra­phers for tak­ing pic­tures of her. Speak­ing to the New Straits

Times later, Vanitha said she was glad that the two-year le­gal bat­tle was fi­nally over.

“I am ex­tremely grate­ful. I can fi­nally move on,” she said.

Vanitha said she had been trau­ma­tised af­ter the slap­ping in­ci­dent, which was wit­nessed by the boy, Tan’s younger sis­ter and a male friend.

“I could not con­cen­trate af­ter that, as a lot of things ran through my mind. I was also cry­ing in class at times.

“To com­pound mat­ters, I still taught the boy af­ter that and saw Tan in school ev­ery day.

“The dis­trict Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fice fi­nally trans­ferred me to an­other school nearby, with­out my ask­ing, promis­ing a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment. I ap­pealed against the de­ci­sion but was un­suc­cess­ful,” she said, adding that many mis­tak­enly be­lieved that she had per­son­ally re­quested for the trans­fer.

“I did not. I had done noth­ing and there was no rea­son for me to ask for the trans­fer,” she said.

Vanitha said she had spo­ken to Datuk Naran Singh, who was hold­ing a watch­ing brief for her, and he had agreed to help her to file for a re­vi­sion of the de­ci­sion at the High Court.

“Six months’ jail seemed too le­nient af­ter what she did and the scar she left be­hind,” she said.

Dur­ing yes­ter­day’s pro­ceed­ings, deputy pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor Afiq Nazrin Za­hari­nan said the court should im­pose the stiffest penalty pos­si­ble as Tan’s ac­tion was im­moral.

“The court should pun­ish Tan so that peo­ple will be aware that it is wrong to slap any­one,” Afiq said.

Tan’s coun­sel, Mohd Is­mail Mo­hamed, said Tan’s motherly in­stinct had caused her to re­act in such a way to­wards the teacher.

He also ap­pealed to the court to im­pose only a fine on Tan as she had to fend for her three chil­dren, aged 8 to 14, as a stay-ath­ome mum. He said he would ap­peal the de­ci­sion.


Tan Seow Yen be­ing es­corted out of the mag­is­trate’s court in Nibong Tebal, Pe­nang, yes­ter­day.

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