T. Nhaveen, a 18-year-old man from Penang, Malaysia who was assaulted outside a burger shop on Friday, has died from his severe injuries.
Nhaveen died without regaining consciousness at the Penang Hospital’s intensive care unit at 6 p.m. local time, Northeast District police chief Assistant Commissioner Anuar Omar confirmed.
“He is a very good boy in school. He was the target of jokes during his schooling years because he was soft,” his teacher told Free Malaysia Today.
“He was soft but not gay, that is for sure. But he paid no mind to those boys and ignored them. But these boys (bullies) had their agenda, which was to make Nhaveen a ‘macho man’ based on their ideals,” the teacher added.
Nhaveen was declared “brain dead” after he experienced physical and sexual assault at the hands of five teenagers believed to be his former classmates.
According to New Straits Times, Nhaveen was out getting burgers at a shop with his friend identified as T. Previin at around 2:20 a.m. on Saturday when two people began taunting and calling them names like pondan, or sissy.
Nhaveen told the two to stop and back off, but they proceeded to call their other friends, all aged 16 to 20, before the whole group began attacking Nhaveen and Previin.
Previin managed to get away, but Nhaveen was reportedly dragged to a field where he was further assaulted with a blunt object that was inserted into his anus.
The five suspects have been arrested and are currently being investigated for rioting under Section 148 of the Penal Code.
But northeast district police chief Assistant Commissioner Anuar Omar recommended that the case be investigated under Section 377CA of the Penal Code, which refers to sexual connection by object and carries a minimum five-year and maximum 30-year prison sentence, plus whipping.
Nhaveen’s unfortunate story has since gained attention from social media users around the world, with many Malaysians giving an overwhelming amount of support towards him and his family.
The 18-year-old wanted to study music composition.
“He loves music,” his aunt said, according to LGBTQ Nation. “Nhaveen is so friendly and jovial. I spoke to him last week and he wanted to come over to my place for chicken curry.”
More than 200 people gathered for a candlelight vigil outside at the compound of the Penang Hospital on June 14.
A Change.org petition has been created asking the United Nations, Attorney General Chambers of Malaysia, Human Rights Campaign, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, and Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak for justice for Nhaveen.
“All I want to say is I hope our nation can serve justice the right way and never ever let this happen again,” Mukhesh Ravi, from Ipoh, Malaysia, said.