KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government must act swiftly to put an end to rape culture and sexual grooming once and for all, DAP’s Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto said.
In a statement today, Kasthuri who is DAP’s International Secretary for Wanita, urged Minister of Education Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin to step in and ensure that firm action is taken against a teacher who made headlines for reportedly making rape jokes.
She also called on Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rina Harun to commit to tabling the Sexual Harassment Bill without delay when Parliament reconvenes.
“I call upon the prime minister to take matters of our children in schools as seriously as he takes other matters and to ensure that this never happens again.
“As the former minister of home affairs under Pakatan Harapan at one time, surely he must know the process of going after real sexual predators and not artists or activists,” she said.
Kasthuri’s statements comes after a 17-year-old student, Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, took to TikTok and Twitter yesterday to describe the purportedly inappropriate remarks that were allegedly made while students were discussing sexual harassment during a physical and health education class at her school in Kuala Selangor.
“In a shocking yet courageous testimony by a student on her social media account of her firsthand experience of rape jokes and rape culture by her own school teacher has once again been brought to light that it is still happening in schools in Malaysia in 2021,” Kasthuri said.
The teacher in question reportedly made an incriminating statement that if you were to commit a rape, you must make sure that the person you rape is over 18.
The teacher is also said to have made another damning comment that “if boys get raped it doesn’t get reported because apparently boys would feel ‘good’ about it”.
“The student lodged a report with the counselling teacher in school only to be told that it is ‘normal’ for jokes like this to be made as boys feel all right with it but girls are sensitive and emotional.
“Because of that she was asked to meet the counselling teacher for a ‘therapy’ or a counselling session.
“While he did apologise on behalf of the said teacher, there was no mention that he will take this higher to authorities,” said Kasthuri.
She stressed that this apparent act of protecting sexual predators by sweeping the matter under the carpet has become the norm in Malaysia.
“Schools must listen to students when they speak up on sexual harassment or any kind of sexual approaches made by teachers, support staff and other members as part of the ecosystem in the school.
“We encourage students to report to their school authorities of any misconduct by teachers.
“But a ‘no-action’ reaction will discourage others from doing so,” she said.
Kasthuri also condemned the teacher saying that the language used was “nauseating and disgusting”, adding that it normalises rape jokes, rape culture, sodomy, sexual grooming, toxic masculinity, and even paedophilia among young, impressionable students who could go on to become the future leaders of Malaysia.
“From racist and sexist remarks to period spot checks and now to normalising this vile language that may one day turn into action, the education system in Malaysia is in dire need of an overhaul,” she said.