‘You’ll answer in afterlife’, heartbroken mum tells prosecutor, investigators after tahfiz sexual abuse case dismissed

An undated photo of the victim and his mother in front of Maahad Tahfiz al Barakah — the tahfiz school in Manjoi formerly owned by celebrity preacher Datuk Kazim Elias.
An undated photo of the victim and his mother in front of Maahad Tahfiz al Barakah — the tahfiz school in Manjoi formerly owned by celebrity preacher Datuk Kazim Elias.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — The mother of a boy that was allegedly sexually abused in a tahfiz school, but whose case was dismissed by prosecutors despite a court recognising an offence was committed, wrote her “final words” on the matter today.

She thanked the magistrate who gave her family a favourable outcome and the lawyers who represented them, but had some harsh words against prosecutors who decided against going ahead with the case linked to celebrity preacher Datuk Kazim Elias.

“To the prosecutor, ‘thank you’ for choosing to not prosecute those who committed crimes against my child,” the mother wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.

“I’m confident, you will also be prosecuted one day, at the Court of God in the afterlife. Be ready, since you are a Muslim too.”

She also accused the investigators of “showing their true colours” by allegedly skipping the psychiatric and paediatric experts’ reports in the investigation papers.

On Monday, the Magistrate’s Court in Ipoh decided to dismiss the case of alleged sexual abuse against a minor at a tahfiz school in Manjoi, Ipoh, merely two months after recognising that an offence did take place.

Magistrate Mohammad Afifi Mohammad Deen made the decision after the court was provided with a letter from the Perak State Legal Adviser’s Office detailing a directive by Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas written under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution. 

The family’s lawyer, Asiah Abd Jalil, who was present with co-counsel Raja Norhajjah Ahmad, said that the provision empowers the AG with the discretion to discontinue any proceeding for an offence.

The mother said today the case would set an ugly precedence, where any minor who become a victim of bullying, assault, sodomy or rape by those connected to the elites, will not receive justice despite overwhelming evidence.

She insisted that in this case, the police did not even follow standard operating procedures such as getting the victim to identify the suspect, video recording a minor’s statement, and getting the victim to identify the place where the offence took place.

In addition, she also pointed out that there has been a speculation that the investigation paper was completely empty.

“If this is true, what can we hope from our police, from our judiciary? This only proves that the law only skews towards the rich, influential, and famous, not for commoners like us,” she said.

On August 7, the court acknowledged that an offence did take place in the case following the complaint made by the victim’s mother on the same day, under Section 377E and Section 14(a) of the more recent Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 — that handles physical sexual assault on a child. 

The court then instructed the Deputy Public Prosecutor to attend Monday's proceeding to explain why the investigation paper was closed previously with no suspects identified, despite the victim being able to recognise the suspects. 

The alleged offence took place three years ago in Maahad Tahfiz al Barakah, a tahfiz school teaching Quran memorisation, then owned by Kazim.

In August 2016, the mother had lodged two police reports alleging that her son, then nine years old, was consistently sexually abused together with other students by their seniors in the tahfiz school.

In December that year, the police had informed the mother that there would be no further action over the case.

Despite providing additional documents and evidence to support her claim, the victim’s mother was again told in May 2018 that no further action would be taken, citing lack of witnesses and concrete evidence to support the allegation.

Meanwhile, the victim, who is now 13, is still undergoing psychiatric therapy to overcome his trauma at the Hospital Bahagia in Tanjung Rambutan. His treatment is only scheduled to conclude in 2021. 

Kazim no longer owns the tahfiz school, claiming that a falling number of speaking appointments had made it difficult for him to manage the centre.

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