Former physical education teacher accused of rape jokes sues student Ain for alleged defamation

Saiful Nizam Abdul Wahab and daughter Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam pose for a picture during an interview with Malay Mail in Puncak Alam April 30, 2021. Both Ain and her father were named as the defendants. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Saiful Nizam Abdul Wahab and daughter Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam pose for a picture during an interview with Malay Mail in Puncak Alam April 30, 2021. Both Ain and her father were named as the defendants. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam has received writ of summons and statement of claim from the teacher who was accused of making rape jokes in class, her father has confirmed today.

Saiful Nizam Abdul Wahab said that the man named Khairul Nizam Sanuddin, who formerly taught physical and health education in SMK Puncak Alam, filed the lawsuit at the Shah Alam Sessions court on November 26.

Both Ain and her father were named as the defendants.

He also confirmed to Malay Mail that this is the first time that the teacher is publicly named.

Previously in August, the same teacher had sent a letter of demand to Ain seeking RM1 million as compensation for alleged defamation.

Shortly after that, Ain’s lawyer Datuk Sankara Nair said the family will countersue the man for RM5 million for emotional distress.

In May, it was reported that the then unnamed teacher was transferred to the Selangor Education Department pending a police investigation.

But the deputy public prosecutor later decided that no further action will be taken against the man.

Ain put a spotlight on sex education and systemic misogyny in public schools in April after complaining on TikTok that a teacher had joked about rape, sparking a nationwide debate and prompting others girls and women to share similar experiences.

The issue had started a Twitter Hashtag #MakeSchoolASaferPlace that set Twitter abuzz and appeared among the top 10 trending topics in the country — with even celebrities sharing their personal stories of sexual harassment.

Her original post on Twitter was accompanied by the hashtag #MakeSchoolASaferPlace, in which she called out public figures such as former education minister Maszlee Malik, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, cartoonist Zunar, and celebrity actress and singer Adibah Noor, to support the cause.

Aside from the male teacher, Ain also lodged two police reports against school mates for threatening her with rape following her expose. She later withdrew this after the students and their families apologised.

Ain also received uncouth comments from the Facebook account of SMK Puncak Alam principal Sarimah Mohamed Nor (named “Aimanaizah Sarimahmohamednor”) who labelled Ain “hypocrite”, “Satan’s spawn wearing headscarves”, and told Ain’s parents to “educate her with manners”.

She has since transferred to Cempaka School Cheras which has been supportive of her cause.

* A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.

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