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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Flogging displays in Malaysian schools
Malaysian shoolchildren (archive photo)
Officials are worried about juvenile delinquency
Malaysia has started demonstrating punishment floggings to schoolchildren, to discourage them from lives of crime.

Students in the northern city of Taiping watched as prison guard Jigeira Singh beat an effigy. The children were then shown pictures of flogging injuries.

"I never thought (flogging) was this bad
Siti Arbaiyah Hussin, 11

Officials said the programme was aimed at stamping out rising juvenile delinquency.

Flogging is widely used as a form of punishment in Malaysia, and punishing offenders in public is also being considered.

Pupils told the New Straits Times that they would stay away from crime after watching the demonstration on Wednesday.

"I never thought (flogging) was this bad," said 11-year-old Siti Arbaiyah Hussin.

Jigeira Singh told the children he had been trained to swing his cane at 160km/h (100mph).

Graphic photos

Prison warders also displayed photos of buttocks bleeding as a result of flogging, The Star newspaper reported.

"People can see for themselves how the punishment is meted out and this is enough to deter these young children from being involved in crime, Taiping Prison director Narander Singh was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.

But the government-backed Human Rights Commission in Malaysia, Suhakam, expressed concern over the programme.

"[We are] concerned that demonstration of whipping would be legitimizing cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment. We would be teaching our children that it is legitimate to use force on their peers, either in the form of retaliation or punishment," it said in a statement.

Flogging can be used to punish more than 40 crimes in Malaysia, including under-age sex.

The government is also considering introducing public flogging before execution as a punishment for child rape, after the rape and murder of two 10-year-old girls in the space of a week earlier this year.

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