Thursday, August 30, 2007

Malaysia: Misuse of pesticide

Student forced to take weedkiller

By : M. Husairy Othman and P. Chandra Sagaran

Muhammad Shamil Izwan is fighting for his life in hospital

TAIPING: It could be a case of bullying gone crazy. A religious school student, 14, is said to have been forced by his schoolmates to drink weed killer and is in critical condition.

It is believed that school bullies may have forced Form Two student Muhammad Shamil Izwan of Sekolah Menengah Addiniyah Jelutong, near here, to consume the poison.The boy was found unconscious in his dormitory about 10pm on Monday. He was rushed to the Taiping Hospital and was still at the hospital’s intensive care unit.

His policeman father, Ahmad Shokri Ayob, 44, told the New Straits Times that his wife Noorshada Man, 35, received a telephone call at 10.50pm from the hostel warden informing them of the incident. "We rushed from Pengkalan Hulu and met the principal and warden at the hospital. They told me that my son fell ill after drinking water from a water gourd (labu sayong).
"I was rather sceptical and went to my son’s dormitory to see the situation myself. I saw vomit stains on the floor and some greyish stains on my son’s bed."Later, I found out police officers at the scene recovered a plastic bottle containing some kind of liquid from the school’s rubbish dump," he said.

The NST learnt that several students came across the bottle some time after the incident and informed police after smelling its contents.The smell is extremely pungent similar to that of weedkiller, said a source.

Ahmad Shokri said his son’s twin brother Muhammad Shauqi Izwan, also in the same school, did not notice anything unusual about his brother before the incident."I hope police will carry out a detailed investigation and get to the bottom of this."

Perak police chief Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said in Ipoh that statements had been recorded from several students and teachers of the religious school."We are investigating all aspects and have classified the case as attempted murder under Section 307 of the Penal Code," he said.Zulkifli declined to elaborate but confirmed that traces of weedkiller were found in the victim’s dormitory.

State Education Committee chairman Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, who visited the victim and his parents, advised the public not to speculate about the incident."Let the police do their job."

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