Teacher relieved ordeal is finally over

SEREMBAN: The nightmare is over for teacher Azizan Manap – at least for now – as he was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by a magistrate’s court here for allegedly causing hurt to an 11-year-old pupil.

Azizan, 44, better known as Cikgu Azizan, vividly remembers the day he got a call from the police station while he was on duty in school.

It was Oct 25.

The call came from a police officer with the Nilai station.

He was ordered to appear in court on Oct 31 to face charges that he had caused hurt to an 11-year-old pupil at his school in Nilai.

On April 6, the senior teacher had lost his temper at a misbehaving pupil.

“I went completely numb when the officer told me that I would be charged in court with causing hurt to the pupil in five days.

“I will never forget the moment for the rest of my life. It has affected me emotionally for the past 55 days until my discharge a short while ago,” he said after the magistrate’s decision.

Earlier, magistrate Mohd Zaki Abd Rahman said the court decided to discharge but not acquit Azizan after deputy public prosecutor Hazeelya Muhammad said her team would not be pursuing the case.

Hazeelya told the court she had received instructions from the Attorney-General’s office in Putra­jaya.

Azizan, a teacher for 20 years, was accused of deliberately slapping the pupil at SK Taman Semarak in the school assembly area at 7am on April 6.

His action had allegedly caused injury to the pupil’s left cheek.

Azizan, who had been transferred to the school less than five months before the alleged incident and was senior assistant for student affairs, was charged under Section 323 of the Penal Code which provides for a jail sentence of up to one year, a fine of RM2,000 or both upon conviction.

Azizan was represented by counsel Francis Pereira, appointed by the National Union of the Teaching Profession.

“Only the Almighty knows how relieved I am today. I wish to put this episode behind me and move on,” said Azizan, adding that he was shocked after being told he was to be charged in court as there had been no developments after the alleged incident in April.

Azizan, who is from Kg Sg Machang in Lenggeng near here, said he harboured no ill-feelings against the boy’s family.

“Whatever I did was in the best interest of the child. There was no other motive,” said Azizan.

Azizan, who teaches Bahasa Melayu for Year Six pupils, said he was also looking forward to the new term.

“I want to go back to SK Taman Semarak and continue with my passion, which is to teach. I had been so worried about my future as an educator and my family after the matter went to court,” said Azizan, whose wife is also a teacher.

The couple have three children.

Azizan said he was humbled by the support from members of the public, including teachers.

Several hundred people started gathering at the court complex in Seremban 2 near here as early as 7.30am yesterday in a show of solidarity with Azizan.

Also present was Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda and National Union of Teaching Profession chief Kamarozaman Abd Razak.

A short prayer was held before Azizan entered the courtroom.

Many people also shook his hand as he made his way to court, giving him words of encouragement.

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