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KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The Education Ministry today ordered a probe into a claim that an Orang Asli child was tied up and beaten by three teachers in Kelantan for allegedly stealing money earlier this month.
Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said he has instructed his ministry’s officers to investigate the case and send in an interim report as soon as possible.
“Was informed about this case and this is indeed a serious allegation if there’s truth in it,” he told Malay Mail Online in a text message.
“The ministry has very stringent policies when it comes to meting out disciplinary action against the students and it saddens me if a child has been abused (as) such especially by teachers,” he added.
Kamalanathan, however, did not say what action the ministry will take as they need to wait for the findings of investigations by both the police and the ministry.
The case came to light earlier today after the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) put up a lengthy post on its Facebook page claiming that three teachers of SK Kuala Betis allegedly hit and kicked a Standard Four student whom they had tied up, purportedly for stealing money on June 15.
The child’s grandmother lodged a police report on the matter on June 27, but was allegedly told a day later by one of the teachers implicated to withdraw the report or risk facing “a tough time the whole year ahead” as he had police connections.
Calls made to the school for clarification from the headmaster went unanswered.
Meanwhile, Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) coordinator Koong Hui Yein today confirmed that police have opened an investigation paper on the incident, and have visited the school on the morning of June 28 along with the child who pointed out the places where the alleged assault took place.
Koong said she was informed of the police’s visit to the school by the child’s grandmother during a call on the night of June 28.
“We are getting more information on the issue and will be updating the Facebook page as soon as possible,” she said, referring to COAC’s Facebook page.