Speak­ing out

young Malaysians share their thoughts on cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment and the ef­fect it could pos­si­bly have on chil­dren.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - R.AGE -

APINCH here and a smack there – yes, that is how most of our par­ents deal with us when we mis­be­have. So imag­ine the na­tion’s sur­prise when a Malaysian cou­ple was ar­rested in Swe­den late last year for do­ing ex­actly what most par­ents (and chil­dren) think is the norm – to use cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment as way of dis­ci­plin­ing un­ruly kids.

The cou­ple is cur­rently on trial in Stock­holm for gross vi­o­la­tion of a child’s in­tegrity, by hit­ting and abus­ing their chil­dren and un­der the Sec­tion 4A, Chap­ter 4 (on crimes against lib­erty and peace) of the Swedish Pe­nal Code, could face be­tween six months and six years in prison for each charge.

Go to prison for “dis­ci­plin­ing” a child? But isn’t cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment an ac­cepted way to dis­ci­pline chil­dren?

Ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare Malaysia, cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment is a method of dis­ci­plin­ing chil­dren in which a su­per­vis­ing adult de­lib­er­ately in­flicts pain upon a child in re­sponse to a child’s un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour and/or in­ap­pro­pri­ate lan­guage.

The im­me­di­ate aims of such pun­ish­ment are usu­ally to halt the of­fence, pre­vent its re­cur­rence and set an ex­am­ple for oth­ers. The ul­ti­mate long-term goal is to change the child’s be­hav­iour and to make it more con­sis­tent with the adult’s ex­pec­ta­tions.

Al­though cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment is law­ful in Malaysia in three ar­eas – home, schools and the pe­nal sys­tem – abuse is not tol­er­ated in Malaysian law.

Here we have young people shar­ing their thoughts on cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment, whether they be­lieve it is an ef­fec­tive method and if they were sub­jected to it when they were younger.

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