New Straits Times

Net uproar over Malaysian teacher-mum spat

While some say six-month jail term for a woman who slapped a teacher who allegedly pinched her son is too harsh, others say she was in the wrong

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 March, 2017, 5:16pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 March, 2017, 5:18pm

By Farhana Syed Nokman

The six-month jail sentence handed to a woman in Malaysia who slapped her son’s teacher after the latter allegedly pinched her son has sparked a war of words among Netizens.

There was an outpouring of sympathy for the mother, Tan Seow Yen, and criticism for teacher L. Vanitha, who had been quoted as saying that she felt the punishment was “inadequate”.

But, others agreed with the punishment.

Tan, 35, a mother of three, was sentenced to six months’ jail and fined RM2,000 (US$450) for causing hurt to Vanitha at a primary school in Sungai Bakap, South Seberang Perai district, on February 2, 2015.

She was accused of committing the offence after her son, 10, complained that his teacher had pinched him for being slow in class.

After the sentence was passed, Vanitha said she was relieved that justice had been served, but felt the jail sentence was inadequate.

Facebook user Shahrizat Abd Hamid said: “The teacher is being too much. She (Tan) has been punished. My sympathy has turned to disgust.”

Another user, Steven Chee, said: “That’s enough. Do you want her to be sent to the gallows? Then you’ll be satisfied?”

Senk Siang Thung said: “I do believe she (Tan) deserves punishment, but to be jailed for a slap is simply stupid. What the mum did was wrong, but the teacher is being too much.”

Dev Roland said handing out a jail sentence to someone emotional was not worth it.

“Only criminals sit in jail. Sending an emotional person to jail is not worth it. Forgive and accept the fine, or community service would do. She is a human, like you. Just a little emotional.”

An Chee also defended Tan.

“This teacher is scary. Six months is not a short period.

“Although she was wrong, I pity the mother for the price she has to pay for protecting her child.”

However, there were people who agreed with the punishment that Tan received.

M.K. Ganesan said: “No one has the right to take the law into their own hands, let alone slap a teacher.

“If this is allowed, then the teaching profession would be under physical threat.

“If the child was indeed proven to have been pinched, the recourse would be to report the matter to the headmaster, Education Department and the police. When you take the law into your own hands, be prepared to face the consequences.”

Gopala Krishnan said the six-month jail sentence was handed out because the mother appeared unrepentant and reportedly refused an out-of-court settlement.

Net uproar over teacher-mum spat