KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — Former education minister Maszlee Malik has condemned the alleged sexual harassment by teachers on students at schools, calling it degrading and uncalled for.
He said this should never occur anywhere, much less in learning institutions.
“This is clearly a violation of one’s privacy and constitutes physical harassment and abuse; and using the excuse to do so in the name of discipline and education is unjustified in any pedagogy, culture, religion or norms,” Maszlee said in a statement.
He added education should be about love, happiness, nurturing integrity, dignity, sense of responsibility and mutual respect.
“The reported cases are a disgrace to the community and must be stopped and condemned. Our school children should be kept safe in schools and protected from any form of harm and abuse,” Maszlee said.
Several reports have surfaced on social media in the past week that students at Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (Mara) Junior Science Colleges alleged had their private parts checked and searched to ensure they were not carrying contraband.
Additionally it is also alleged that female students were asked to expose their underwear to show that they were menstruating during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in order to prove that they were not able to fast as a result.
On Wednesday the NGOs All Women’s Action Society, Sisters In Islam, and Pertubuhan Pembangunan Kendiri Wanita dan Gadis pressed both the Education Ministry and Mara today for investigation panels into online allegations of sexual abuse and harassment by their teachers on their students.
Yesterday Mara chairman Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said the agency will launch an internal probe to verify the serious allegations, and pledged to cooperate with the authorities over the matter.