KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa said today that British paedophile Richard Huckle’s case should not be in any way linked to Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, the mathematics scholar who was last year convicted for possession of child pornography.
Annuar said this when asked if MARA would stand by its decision to give Nur Fitri a second chance after Huckle’s case, which has sparked outrage in Malaysia.
"No need to link Nur Fitri to this case," the Ketereh MP told Malay Mail Online via WhatsApp.
When asked his reasons for saying so when both youths were found in possession of indecent images of children, Annuar did not elaborate, merely replying, “No”.
In May last year, Nur Fitri was sentenced to a five-year jail term in the UK after he was convicted of possessing thousands of videos and photos of child porn including 601 “Category A” images depicting penetrative sex with minors.
MARA had initially said it had cancelled Nur Fitri's scholarship but later decided to offer the youth second chance by allowing him to study at any of its institutions of higher learning upon the completion of his sentence.
It was reported in June last year that Nur Fitri had obtained the green light to be extradited to Malaysia after serving his sentence. It is believed that the youth is now back in the country.
On Monday, Huckle was sentenced to life in prison by a London court for abusing 23 Malaysian and Cambodian babies and children over almost a decade.
Reuters reported that Huckle, 30, was given 22 life sentences and would serve at least 23 years behind bars for his crimes against impoverished victims aged six months to 11 years.
Huckle, who is believed to have abused up to 200 children, reportedly admitted to 71 of 91 charges related to 23 girls and boys that included rape and sexual assault. Twenty-two children are reportedly from mainly impoverished Christian communities in Kuala Lumpur, where he posed as an English teacher and Christian philanthropist, while one is Cambodian.
UK broadcaster Sky News in a report last week said Huckle, whose computer allegedly had over 20,000 indecent images of children, had offered to help teach at schools and churches in Malaysia and was sometimes employed for private tuition in his victims’ homes.
Local authorities are now trying to retrace Huckle’s steps in Malaysia and identify his victims.
Lawmaker and groups here are, however, questioning how the Briton had managed to operate under the radar in Malaysia for so many years before he was arrested in the UK in December 2014.