|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1997 : MY Schools May 1997|
Corpun file 0846 at www.corpun.com
The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 14 May 1997
The cane for young smokers
Schoolchildren who puff to face expulsion too under new rules
By Frederick Fernandez
KUALA LUMPUR: Students who smoke will face compulsory caning and those caught puffing four times will be expelled under the Education Ministry's latest anti-smoking rules.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who announced this yesterday said the stringent rules were to curb indiscipline and social ills among students.
"Smoking leads students to many other evils yet there are students who think that smoking makes them look sophisticated and glamorous.
"The ministry has always been against smoking but now we have to get serious," he said when launching the national-level No Smoking For Teenagers campaign held at a hotel here yesterday.
The campaign, which will be launched in all states, is a Jaycees Malaysia-Education Ministry project with RM1.25 million funding provided by the Confederation of Malaysian Tobacco Manufacturers (CMTM). An advertising campaign in The Star will also follow.
Under the new rules effective immediately, a student caught smoking for the first time will be warned and caned once. If the offence is repeated, the student will be caned twice and given another warning.
A third-time offender will be suspended up to a maximum of 14 days. Those caught smoking for the fourth time will be expelled.
There are now no guidelines for schools to punish students caught smoking.
Najib, a non-smoker, urged parents to support the rules. He said the punishment would also apply to students caught smoking outside school.
"Schools will not easily give in to appeals by parents to reinstate their expelled children."
Najib said caning would be done by headmasters or disciplinary teachers.
In January, the Health Ministry extended its smoking ban in public areas to nurseries, kindergartens, schools and institutions of higher learning.
It also banned those under 18 from smoking, having cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Najib also warned teachers not to smoke in schools.
On the funding by CMTM, Najib said it was a "a positive sign".
"At first, I thought they had ulterior motives. Now I am convinced that they are doing it out of social obligation," he said.
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