MO,13/2/2018, IPOH: A few months ago, Datuk Wong Tuck Wai was shown a video of a boy being beaten up in school. He immediately wanted to be part of the movement to stop bullying. “The bully was actually smiling at the camera as he beat the other boy up!” said the SP Setia chief operating officer. “And that wasn’t the only case; there have been so many other similar videos.”
Wong was speaking during an emotional visit to his alma mater, SMK St Michael’s, to promote the #StandTogether campaign, a joint initiative between SP Setia and R.AGE to end bullying in schools by fostering a culture of kindness. “In a boys’ school, bullying is almost a rite of passage – something you do to be seen as macho, but it’s an evil thing, actually. It’s so much better to show kindness,” he said to the 1,400 students at the school assembly.
Wong added that the issue went well beyond schools as well. “Look at the case of the maid!” he said, referring to the domestic worker who died from alleged abuse. The visit was also a chance for Wong to reminisce over his days in school, and recall how big an impact the school had on his life. “I must admit I had tears. After all, I was here from Primary One to Form Five.
“I’m a proud product of St Michael’s and that’s why it’s important for me to encourage fellow Michaelians to strive for a more empathetic and grounded society,” he added. After a short walk around his old stomping ground, Wong sat down with some of the school’s prefects for a candid discussion. “Back then, we were all colour-blind,” he told the prefects.
“I had ‘brothers’ in the school from all races and religions, and we were never bothered by such things. “Today, we have become a bit more divided and that’s when bullying can easily take place, when we don’t understand or want to accept others’ backgrounds.” The #StandTogether campaign hopes to create a more positive culture in schools by creating a National Kindness Week, which will be observed across the country. The campaign has already been approved by the Education Ministry. Interested schools can sign up for the National Kindness Week at www.standtogether.my.