updated 8/6/2009 11:16:00 AM ET 2009-08-06T15:16:00

A Malaysian teacher forced a student to smoke 42 cigarettes for four hours as punishment after a cigarette and lighter were found in his locker, a news report said Thursday.

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A school official confirmed that the English teacher subjected the student to the unusual punishment, but said the teenager was made to smoke fewer than 42 cigarettes. He declined to elaborate.

He said the teacher was upset when she found a model student, 16-year-old Mohamad Alif Arifin, had a cigarette and lighter in his locker in the school in the northern island of Langkawi.

'Not normal'
The boy was also smelling of cigarettes, said a school official, who declined to be named citing protocol. He said the school apologized to the boy's uncle, who lodged a police report when he found out about the punishment.

"This is not normal. We don't do that often," he said.

He said it was up to the state's education department to take action against the teacher.

The New Straits Times daily quoted the teen as saying he was made to smoke 42 cigarettes — four at a time for more than two hours. The punishment was witnessed by other teachers and students.

Department officials could not immediately be reached.

In 2007, a teacher was reprimanded after she made almost 140 teenage girls squat in a pond at a boarding school as punishment for clogging the toilets.

The punishment caused an outcry, leading to Malaysia's Education Ministry to announce it would issue specific guidelines on how teachers should discipline students.

The government permits boys to be whipped with a rattan cane in schools for such offenses as smoking, vandalism and harming others.

More on: Malaysia

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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