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     Community Issues - 'taupok' game in JC

     Parent complains about 'taupok' game in JC


Excerpt of letter by Justin Situ Ren Jun in the Forum section of The Straits Times of 11 Jan 2005 (H7)

"I am a parent of a boy studying in a premier junior college in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio area. Recently, it has come to my attention that rowdy behaviour is threatening to compromise the safety of the students.

"According to my son, the violent act is dubbed ‘taupok’, a reference to a highly compressible piece of brown beancurd. A student would shout ‘taupok’ and other students would pounce on the targeted person, drag him down forcefully and climb on top of him. Due to peer pressure, more and more students would join in until the stack of bodies is about a metre high.

"This violent act is supposedly done in the name of fun but, as a parent, I feel that it is potentially dangerous and even life-threatening.

"Furthermore, the ‘taupoking’ is not a rare occurrence. It can happen up to five times a day, anywhere and to any person.

"During the orientation programme for year One students, even a person standing on the stage during a performance could get ‘taupoked’….


Excerpt of article “Raffles JC to warn students against ‘taupok’ ” in The Straits Times of 12 Jan 2005 (H5)

"…At Raffles Junior College (RJC), students will be cautioned at today’s morning assembly that ‘taupok’ may cause injuries.

"Principal Winston Hodge said it was not an approved activity or part of the orientation programme. A parent had complained recently, and a teacher had to break up a ‘taupok’ on two occasions, he said.

"In a statement, the education Ministry said that the incident referred to in the Forum letter was ‘not an approved activity’ and the ‘principal will take appropriate steps to advise students against such activities’…."


Excerpt of letter by Ms Lindy Heng Ling in the Forum section of The Straits Times of 13 Jan 2005 (H10)

"...Having just graduated from junior college (coincidentally, my alma mater is also in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio area), I can assure Mr Situ that 'taupoks' are certainly not a way of life in JCs, including the college I graduated from.

"Instead, my schoolmates and I expressed our care and concern for one another in other non-physical ways, and our teachers did not encourage 'taupoks' as shows of camaraderie among students.
" 'Taupok' incidents do happen in JCs, usually during the first week of the orientation programme. These usually occur as some over-enthusiastic students may 'taupok' someone in the name of fun, without realising the consequences..."