When a Lashing is Not Enough
Posted on August 16, 2009
Malaysia, a country known for its somewhat unusual punishments, found a new contributor to its claim to fame when a Langkawian English teacher forced a student to smoke 2 packs of cigarettes in just two hours.
Mohd Alif Arin, the Form Four student from SMK Langkawi, had to embark on a ‘puffathon’ after he violated school rules by possessing smoking paraphernalia.
Ultimately it became a race against time involving 42 cigarettes where he finally puffed four simultaneously in order to finish in time.
Despite Arin’s denials to the contrary, the outraged teacher felt that a cigarette and lighter found within the confines of the 16 year old student’s locker was akin to an admission of guilt.
The smoking spree itself was apparently a public display event which involved other teachers and students in its spectator list. It is yet unsure whether the lack of intervention from their side testified towards or against the unusualness of the incident.
On the other hand, Arin’s uncle and aunt, who were also his guardians, were horrified when they learned about this incident.
They claimed that the young boy later suffered from side-effects like loss of appetite and repeated coughing fits. The disgruntled uncle then promptly took the matter to the Langkawi police.
Once the story hit the internet, it went viral. However, before readers could dig up other instances of strange Malaysian punishments from various schools and rate it on a scale of 1-10, a semblance of normalcy was drabbed over the incident.
The local police superintendent implied that an apology from the teacher had helped close the matter. It would seem that the previously unhappy guardians had readily accepted the apology.
An unnamed school official did express shock at the overall incident albeit with a remark containing a rather cryptic use of an adjective.
He said, “This is not normal. We don’t do that often.”
The accepted forms of punishment usually involved a lashing with just a salted rattan cane.