Malaysia's education ministry to probe allegations of rape jokes by teachers

Student Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam posted a video on TikTok alleging that a male teacher had made rape jokes in class.
Student Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam posted a video on TikTok alleging that a male teacher had made rape jokes in class.PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM @ANT33ATER/TWITTER

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's education ministry is conducting an in-depth investigation into the allegations of a female student that went viral on social media claiming that her school teacher had made rape jokes during class, Bernama reported.

Education Minister Radzi Jidin said the ministry took the matter seriously and would not tolerate it if the incident really happened.

"This has become a police case, but we are also investigating if it really happened and if there is a case, strict and appropriate action will be taken," he said at a press conference on Wednesday (April 28).

He was commenting on the issue of a teenage female student who, through TikTok, had alleged that a male teacher made rape jokes in class while discussing the issue of sexual harassment during the physical education and health subject at her school, Bernama reported.

Meanwhile, the student, 17-year-old Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, has demanded an apology from commenters who wrote about her body on social media, The Star reported.

The commenters - some believed to be teachers themselves - had posted lewd comments about her after she revealed a teacher's jokes about rape.

"Apologise to us. #MakeSchoolASaferPlace," read the text in the video posted on TikTok and Twitter, which started with the teenager looking calm and mouthing the word "apologise" before panning into screenshots of rude comments about the size of her breasts and body shape.

The commenters also said Ain Husniza's dressing was to be blamed for her being the target of harassment and many shamed her for not covering her aurat, a term used by Muslims to refer to a woman's intimate parts which includes the hair on the head.

The video, posted on Tuesday, has so far garnered over 205,000 views on Twitter.

Ain Husniza said the comments showed how critical the issue has been in Malaysia where men could write lewd comments, but rape victims would still be blamed for their appearance.

"I am still a child. Female students are still children. Boys deserve better education. #MakeSchoolASaferPlace.

"If you really want to make a change, start speaking out when you see this sort of paedophilic, grooming behaviour by adults. We must let them know it is time for them to take accountability for their actions. Start speaking up. #MakeSchoolASaferPlace," she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

"Do not let my fight be in vain. I am willing to go through all this if it means no student will ever have to go through or feel what I feel right now. For our next generation. For us. Make a ruckus," she added.

Other students have also come out on social media to expose male teachers allegedly leaving lewd comments about the teen in a Facebook group for teachers.

On Facebook, her father Saiful Nizam said the lewd comments about his daughter's appearance showed how "sick" Malaysian society is.

"Dear men, stop thinking using your genitals. Many of these screenshots are from Facebook groups where the members are teachers. There are also women who failed to understand the real issue being fought for.

"From joking about rape (by a teacher), then rape threats from a student, and now body shaming and cyberbullying.

"I feel a deep pity for the teaching profession which has become increasingly smeared by such trashy individuals," he wrote on Wednesday.