Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RAGGING, HAZING,"Taupok treatment"..,my take!

Recently, for all the wrong reasons, some well-known schools and JCs have been put on public spotlight. Reports and video clips have surfaced on popular websites portraying the incidents of ragging, hazing and the so called "Taupok treatment". All these news have made it to the main stream press and online news website such as Asia One.
Below, I have reproduced a portion of the separate news report for perusal and discussion.
I wonder what your views, to these seemingly innocent, childish nonsense, are?
In many countries, many permanent and serious injuries have resulted form these immature "pranks".
Deaths have also occured...250 or more in the USA alone.
In all my years in schools and the JC, I have never permitted anything such as these nonsense
outlined. So no one was traumatised, no one was injured, no one died. That's the way it was and should be.
But not so fortunate was the JC student in the 2nd story below. He suffered a permanent slip disc requiring surgery which altered his entire life after that. This is only the "tip of the iceberg".
Many incidents and happenings never made it to the the one I will now relate.

Unk Dicko's story

Time/Location: Back in the mid and late '60s, S'pore University.
S'pore University used to have a "Rag and Flag" day...whatever that meant, it did not
mean condoning outrageous RAGGING pranks by the admin. The problem was not many victims dared
to report the abuse of ragging for fear of retribution. So, majority of newly admitted undergrads submitted to their so called "seniors" to avoid a more "hellish time"if they do not do so.
That included a very close scouting pal and schoolmate of mine, the late Tan Ah Moo. He was my senior in school and in the Scout Troop...where we were both very active in.
One fine day, Ah Moo asked for my personal help...quite in desperation.
He was accepted into Sg Univ and was later instructed by his " S U seniors"to turn up at an
appointed place and time, in the old SU grounds.
My good friend Ah Moo was a very sharp and smart chap. He had done his homework and knew beforehand that the appointed occasion was for the sole purpose of "RAGGING" the freshshies.
Moreover, he had some knowledge of some of the "nonsense" they would subject the hapless victims to. He did not tell me all but I clearly recall this one which frightened him to no end.
Among other pranks, he was fearful of his head being forcefully pushed into the toilet bowl
and flushed with the wc water. Apparently, that was one of the many physical abuses practised.
After listening to him, I told him "No problem, have no fear...I will accompany you there myself.
And leave the rest to me !" I was very indignant indeed and wanted very much to see for myself
who these"bullies" were.
Btw, Ah Moo had a slight physical deformity in one arm. But no one can escape their Ragging ( he was told) ! However, they did not reckon with Unk Dicko here!
On the appointed day, I accompanied my dear friend A Moo to the room/hall where the ragging
was to take place. He didn't know them at all. Neither did I.
I asked to speak to whoever was in charge. A proup of guys, key seniors probably, came forward. After I introduced myself,this was what I told them:-
" My dear friend here A Moo has been told to come here. I hope the purpose is not to abuse
him physically or any way "rag" him. I will not interfere with what you all do so long as he is left
untouched. I hope you people take this friendly advice kindly to heart as I do not wish to visit you
a second time! "
That was about all I said.
My friend A Moo was NEVER Ragged throughout his university days.
He graduated, with Honours, and went on to join the Police Force rising to the rank of
He asked for my help once in a while, while serving the Force, to look for missing persons, to check on some follow up cases. I was also serving in the Police Special Constabulary, later in a
special plainclothes unit.

Mon, Nov 17, 2008 AsiaOne

'I don't want to go JC anymore'

Hot on the heels of the Anglo Chinese Junior College (ACJC) birthday hazing incident, more shocking videos of junior college (JC) students being violently ragged have surfaced on the Internet.
This time, the students in the spotlight are the rugby boys from St. Andrew's Junior College (SAJC).
A video submitted to STOMP showed the students throwing the SAJC birthday boy into a bin, rubbing his genitals with toothpaste and then slamming his private parts into a pole.
According to the online citizen journalism site, the clip had been uploaded onto a popular online video channel in April this year. The video clip also links to other similar videos of birthday kids being ragged in SAJC.
Such forms of ragging - a British slang for the act of playing a rough practical joke - are a common practice in most JCs among the male students.
"We saw it happen once in awhile, but always with boys, and nobody got seriously hurt," shared an alumnus of a top JC located in the northern part of Singapore who declined to be named.
"No one batted an eyelid because we all thought it was boys being boys.
"Just male testosterone acting up in acts of brainless 'fun'," continued the current postgraduate student who graduated from his JC seven years ago.
'I won't go JC'

Wed, Nov 19, 2008 my paper, Asia One
Fun needn't get out of hand
By Dawn Tay

THE recent outcry over a string of hazing incidents struck a personal chord.
It evoked memories of something that happened to my family 11 years ago.
In the prime of his youth, my older brother suffered a slipped disc when he was tossed into a swimming pool by schoolmates, during a birthday celebration in junior college.
I still remember seeing him lying on a hospital bed, teary-faced and in great pain – he eventually had to undergo surgery to remove the disc.
It was a tough time for him. Gone were his favourite activities: soccer and tennis. And his army years were vastly different from those of his peers: While they underwent military training which they would boast about, he was filing papers as a clerk.
To this day, he avoids lifting heavy objects in case he aggravates the injury.
Remembering that incident and seeing the recent uproar by indignant Singaporeans, I'd say that it's time to introduce some guidelines on hazing.
Hazing – which ranges from harmless teasing to even sodomy with objects – has been around for ages.
It entered the spotlight only when clips of ragging in junior colleges and the Singapore Civil Defence Force were posted online recently – the latest being the "taupok treatment" of a junior-college student .


Lam Chun See said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lam Chun See said...

Your article reminds me of the time when I was posted to 30 SCE, Mandai Camp. My friend got badly injured becos of the silliness. I blogged briefly about it here although I left out details to protect his privacy.

unk Dicko said...

Thanks for the interesting tid-bits. I don't think there were many such incidents in our time. In the police training camps where I was involved , none of these things happened.
But S U was different. They were well known for "ragging" in the past. That was the only time that I reacted before someone was to be abused physically.,in the '60s.
But in the 80's till the time I retired, I had personally stopped and prevented many real "BULLYING" and gang-related type incidents from proliferating in and around my workplace. The strategies I used to combat these "bullies and thugs" will make super-interesting reading.