KANGAR - A former minister in the Prime Minister's Department has been given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Sessions Court here for the alleged molestation of an underage girl after the victim dropped her complaint.
Arau MP Shahidan Kassim was accused of molesting a female busker, then aged 15 years and 11 months, at an open space of Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium in Kangar, Perlis, at about 11.30pm on Oct 20, 2018.
The girl is said to be from a buskers group that he sponsored.
Datuk Seri Shahidan, who is also former Perlis Umno chief, however, denied the allegations and said it was all just a "misunderstanding".
The father of the girl also reportedly stated that the matter had been amicably "settled" and the family had decided that there was no need to "blow it out of proportion".
However, police said investigations must go on and any understanding reached between the victim's family and the politician was not related to the police.
The decision to discharge Mr Shahidan was delivered in chambers on Wednesday (April 24) by Judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad after the victim retracted her report, The Star reported.
The court heard the testimony of three witnesses, including the complainant, before coming to a decision.
Mr Shahidan's lawyer Zamri Ibrahim said since the complainant had withdrawn the case after testifying, the case would now be withdrawn and the bail returned.
The former minister was charged under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017, which provides for imprisonment of up to 20 years and whipping if convicted.