KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — Wanita MCA chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie has urged the Education Ministry to investigate a school letter allegedly warning SPM student Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam of expulsion after she exposed a teacher for making a rape joke.
The 17-year old was issued the letter after she publicly called out one of her male teachers for joking about rape, which also resulted in another student at her school issuing rape threats towards her.
Heng said that if the school is attempting to expel Ain to shield the perpetrators, it is tantamount to a great crime against humanity.
“The school is supposed to nurture the next generation, not only academically, but also by instilling moral values in students. Hence, it is disheartening to see Ain’s response to indecency and harassment not only being taken lightly, but her receiving such discriminatory treatment by her school as well,” she said in a statement.
The former deputy women, family and community development minister said that in the two weeks since the incident, no investigations have been conducted on the male teacher in question and the student who allegedly made rape threats, nor has any disciplinary action been taken against them.
“Are not the ‘jokes’ and threats more severe offences compared to Ain’s three-day absence for a legitimate reason?
“If the school follows through with the decision (to expel Ain) this will not only taint the school’s record, but it also essentially tells everyone that whistleblowers will be punished and that there is nothing offensive about sexual harassments or rape,” Heng said.
She wondered as to how such a future will look like for the nation, when its youngsters are not allowed to voice out inequality and oppression.
“In order to prevent the issue from escalating further, I urge the ministry to immediately take charge and investigate this incident to be accountable to Ain and all other victims of rape and sexual harassment.
“I have also instructed our Wanita MCA’s Legal Advisory and Women’s Aid Centre (LAWA) to follow this issue closely and if necessary, provide free legal assistance and advice, including applying for a restraining order for the victim,” Heng said.
Ain, a student at SMK Puncak Alam in Kuala Selangor, said on Twitter yesterday that she was issued the letter for failing to attend school after an absence of three days.
She claimed that on the same day the letter was sent, her father Saiful Nizam Abdul Wahab met with the school principal who said she would support his daughter, yet the letter was issued all the same.
Ain also questioned as to why she was facing punishment merely for having her own opinion and thoughts, things that her own teachers had taught her in school.