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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Nhaveen a casualty of ministry's anti-LGBT contest?



Was the Ministry of Health's recent competition, to "prevent homosexuality", a contributory factor in the attack against 18-year-old T Nhaveen? Did his bullies beat him to make sure he was macho and a "real man"?
When it was first announced, activists warned the authorities that the LGBT community would be further traumatised and that there would be increased hatred and loathing for them.
This competition offered cash prizes, ranging from RM1,000 to RM4,000, for those who could produce the best anti-LGBT videos. There is no doubt that the videos helped fuel more intolerance against the LGBT community. The openly discriminatory move by the ministry should not have been allowed.
Over the past three months, three students have died from being beaten. Nhaveen had been hit with crash helmets, burnt and sodomised with a blunt object. He would have started college life this Thursday, in Kuala Lumpur, to study music.
Nhaveen had been bullied at school, and at the end of his shift work, his former school bullies assaulted him, for being "effeminate".
Bullying takes many forms, and you need not be effeminate to be beaten. If you are by nature quiet and reserved, it is enough for some bullies to target you, perhaps because you are perceived to lack the gumption to fight back.
A week before Nhaveen's death, another student, 21-year-old navy cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain from the Malaysian National Defence University (UPNM) also died from a beating.
After they had tortured him, Zulfarhan's university friends took him to a clinic in Bangi to seek treatment on two occasions. It was only when his condition worsened that his bullies took him to hospital, where he died.
Doctors blind?
Why didn't the doctor at the clinic notice that Zulfarhan had been scalded with a steam iron, and also beaten? As he had been bound, there must have been weals on his skin. Are our doctors as blind as our politicians? Didn't they enquire into the cause of his injuries? A post mortem showed that eighty percent of Zulfarhan's body had been scalded and bruised.
In Malaysia, bullying comes in many guises. You wouldn't expect a teacher to bully someone much younger, but from the various stories on social media, it is more common that we think, and is under-reported.
In April, 11-year-old Mohd Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi died after a beating by a staff member at the school. The suspect has since been released on police bail, but it was alleged that this man had used to pick on Thaqif for the most minor of reasons.
A few weeks ago, Thaqif's body was exhumed for a second post mortem. The results have not been released, despite an earlier promise by the authorities. Why do Thaqif's parents have to go through another round of heartache? Why are the parents being bullied in this fashion?
We lurch from one disgraceful episode to the next. We have barely got over the shock of reading about one victim, when the next victim makes the headlines. Have we become immune to the evil in our midst?
Nation of bullies
Bullying is not just between students and students, or teachers and pupils.
Some of us bully our elders; bully them into babysitting and house sitting, or financing our businesses and expensive luxuries. Then, when we tire of them, we just dump them by a road, with their possessions stuffed into a plastic carrier bag. We bully our maids, and those whom we perceive to be of a lower social standing.
Malaysia is a nation of bullies and their victims.
Conservative religious people bully the other 97 percent of the ordinary Malaysian rakyat, to wear, eat, and conform to the bigots' notion of life.
If you are of a different faith and race, and if you support the opposition, expect to be bullied by politicians in the following fashion: The police will lock you up for insubordination. Immigration will ban you from travelling abroad. Public services will be denied to your community. Scholarships will be withheld. Teachers, and people in the armed forces, will be refused promotion. Felda settlers are denied their bonuses.
These are all forms of bullying, and until you recognise that you, and only you, can stand up for your rights, be prepared for the authorities to trample over you.
If the government were serious about bullying, would they allow bail for Thaqif's alleged killer? Why are Zulfarhan's alleged bullies allowed to attend college? Why are corrupt cronies still running GLCs? Why are corrupt politicians still ruling the nation?
We have been warned that lawyers are watching our social media comments, even when discussing our love for precious stones. That is the ultimate bully tactic.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). BlogTwitter.- Mkini

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