KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Seputeh MP Teresa Kok is pushing the education minister to take an official stand on the case of a teacher who sued his former student for alleged defamation after she called him out for making light about rape.
The veteran lawmaker said she was appalled to read that the teacher, Khairul Nizam Sanuddin, had filed a defamation suit against teenager Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, who highlighted his remarks about rape on her social media accounts.
“I think this is the first case in Malaysia where a male teacher has actually sued his student.
“The legal action by Khairul Nizam indicates that despite the media onslaught on his action, he is nonchalant and still feels what he did is proper. His legal action has made a mockery of the teaching profession in Malaysia,” Kok said in a statement last night.
She said the teacher should be aware that his” joke” and his subsequent lawsuit has tarnished Malaysia’s name as the case has been widely reportedly by the international media.
“I ask the education minister, who is duty bound to guarantee students a safe environment to study, to take an official stand on the legal action taken by this teacher.
“The timing of this suit could not have been worse, especially when the government is on the verge of presenting the anti-sexual harassment Bill in Parliament. The student has suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the teacher’s behaviour. This cannot be ignored,” she added.
Ain’s father Saiful Nizam confirmed with Malay Mail yesterday that the teacher who formerly taught physical and health education in SMK Puncak Alam, Selangor filed the lawsuit at the Sessions Court in Shah Alam on November 26.
Both Ain and her father were named as the defendants.
The same teacher had sent a letter of demand for RM1 million to Ain in August as compensation for alleged defamation.
Shortly after that, Ain’s lawyer Datuk David Sankara Nair said the family will countersue the man for RM5 million for emotional distress.
In May, it was reported that the teacher was transferred to the Selangor Education Department pending a police investigation.
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 Malaysia’s Twitter abuzz and appeared among the top 10 trending topics in the country — with even celebrities sharing their personal stories of sexual harassment.