Almost 50% of Malaysian parents think physical punishment should be allowed in schools: YouGov

Despite split views on physical punishment in schools, the survey found that most respondents do carry out physical discipline at home.
The Straits Times

When the time comes for their children face the music, nearly half of the Malaysian parents in a recent survey think that schools should be allowed to carry out physical punishment.

Corporal punishment – such as caning – is legal in Malaysia, but market research firm YouGov’s survey of 619 Malaysian parents revealed that one in five are against physical punishment in schools.

The remaining 33 per cent of respondents are undecided on whether schools should be allowed to physically punish children, YouGov said in a press release on Monday (July 8).

YouGov

Despite split views on physical punishment in schools, the survey found that most (81 per cent) respondents do carry out physical discipline at home.

Additionally, about 12 per cent of respondents say they physically discipline their children often, while 38 per cent do so sometimes, and around 31 per cent only do so rarely.

Only about 17 per cent of respondents have never physically punished their children, and the remaining 3 per cent preferred not to say.

Those physically disciplined when young are more likely to physically punish their own kids

According to YouGov, respondents who grew up being physically punished are more likely to inflict the same punishment on their own children compared to those who did not.

About 85 per cent respondents who were subjected to physical punishment while growing up carry out corporal punishment on their children now, YouGov said. In contrast, only half of the respondents who were not physically disciplined when they were young carry out physical punishment now.

YouGov

Some think physical punishment is child abuse

Currently, it is legal for parents to physically discipline their children in Malaysia, but around 18 per cent of respondents think that it should be made illegal, the survey revealed.

Another 40 per cent of respondents disagree with making physical punishment illegal, while 38 per cent are undecided, and the remaining 3 per cent did not indicate a preference.

The survey also revealed that around 24 per cent of respondents say that physical punishment amounts to child abuse, while 40 per cent disagree.

Meanwhile, 33 per cent of respondents neither disagree nor agree, and the remaining respondents did not indicate a preference.

Behaviour that most warrants physical punishment is stealing 

According to YouGov, the majority (73 per cent) of respondents believe that physical punishment is sometimes necessary. Meanwhile, only around eight per cent of respondents disagree.

Another 17 per cent of respondents are undecided if physical punishment is necessary, and the remaining 2 per cent did not state a preference.

Additionally, behaviour that respondents think most warrants physical punishment is stealing (63 per cent), followed by bullying (54 per cent) and violence (51 per cent).

In June, a video of a male teacher being reprimanded by a woman for caning her daughter  sparked online debate after it was circulated on social media.

The woman said that her daughter had used a rude word on the male teacher but claimed that she had already apologised.

According to a translation by New Straits Times, the teacher responded in Malay, and said that the girl apologised only after she was caned, and added that it was improper for the student to have used a disrespectful word.

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