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KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — A group of 20 women MPs have united across the political divide to ask Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to ensure that schools are a safe place for students, following allegations of a rape joke by a teacher and rape threats faced by a female student who exposed him recently.
In a joint statement signed by MPs from various parties, including Umno and Opposition parties, the 20 MPs said they had yesterday written to the prime minister on this matter.
“On May 3, 2021, we, women Members of Parliament have written a letter to the YAB prime minister to voice our concern over a case of rape joke that was alleged to have been made by a male teacher in a school and which was exposed by Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, a student aged 17, and rape threats from her fellow students, which should be given serious attention and have immediate action taken by the government,” they said.
While noting that Ain had already lodged a police report, the 20 women MPs said they had asked the government to review existing standard operating procedures (SOP) and policies in relation to the investigation methods used on reports of sexual harassment at such schools and at all institutions of education.
“We urge the government to have a serious attitude, be caring and to take care of the complainant’s interests, especially school students, by immediately handling this issue immediately.
“We demand the YAB prime minister’s commitment to give a guarantee of safety to students in schools. Students should feel safe in school and be protected by their teachers and not otherwise,” the 20 MPs said.
The list of 20 MPs included Umno’s Pengerang MP and Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, PKR’s Pandan MP and former women, family and community development minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as well as DAP’s Segambut MP and former deputy women, family and community development minister Hannah Yeoh.
Others on the list are Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu’s (PBB) Batang Sadong MP and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, and deputy minister and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Masjid Tanah MP Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, and Bersatu’s Beaufort MP Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.
The others include MPs from DAP, namely Kulai MP and former education deputy minister Teo Nie Ching, Seputeh MP and former minister Teresa Kok, Bakri MP and former minister Yeo Bee Yin, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto, Lanang MP Alice Lau, Tenom MP Noorita Sual, and Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi.
Also on the list from PKR are Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Kuantan MP and former deputy minister Fuziah Salleh, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, Tangga Batu MP Rusnah Aluai, Merbok MP Nor Azrina Surip @ Nurin Aina, Hulu Selangor MP June Leow Hsiad Hui.
Parti Warisan Sabah’s Kota Belud MP and former deputy minister Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis was also on the list.
The 20 MPs’ statement appears to match the message used by Ain in her online campaign with the hashtag #MakeSchoolASaferPlace on Twitter.
Ain recently took to TikTok and Twitter to describe the inappropriate remarks that were allegedly made by a teacher during a discussion on sexual harassment in a physical and health education class at her school in Kuala Selangor, such as remarks 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 questionable comment that “if boys get raped, it doesn’t get reported because apparently boys would feel ‘good’ about it”.
Her father has told Malay Mail that the case will be recorded as No Further Action (NFA) by the police after the boys and their families sought forgiveness from Ain’s family.