PETALING JAYA: International Medical University (IMU) student Kiren Raj has publicly apologised for his comments on a social media page on the death of local actress and singer Emily Kong.
In his letter that he read out, Kiren said he was sorry to Kong’s family members, members of the public, and IMU, and that he had retracted his comments.
“The comments I posted were not directed at any individual and meant no harm.
“The comments were my imagination in nature. Upon realising (this), I removed my comments as soon as possible.
“I would also like to formally retract my comments.
“I am deeply remorseful that my comments offended many netizens. I would never do anything like this again,” he said at a press conference at Wisma MCA on Monday (March 18).
He also said his comments were not about Kong personally.
Kiren said Malaysians should live in harmony and he did not mean for his comments to cause harm.
“I never meant the comments to be derogatory to women. Women have contributed a lot to society.
“Sometimes we say things that are not appropriate and we should be responsible and apologise. We should learn to re-evaluate ourselves and better ourselves,” said the 26-year-old, who is in his final year at IMU.
He added that he has gone for counselling for the matter, and this has been helpful.
The police have not called him up over the matter, he added.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said Kiren is remorseful, especially as he has many friends and course-mates who had advised him to apologise publicly.
He said Kiren is prepared to face any formal action against him.
Also present at the press conference were lawyers Datuk K. Kumaraendran, Teh See Khoon and James Ee.
Kiren was caught in a controversy when he posted a sexist comment on The Star’s Facebook page about Kong’s death on March 9.
He had posted, “I hope all the girls learn a good lesson now … Never leave the pub without a guy… Man and woman work together… We offer you a safe drive home and you give us makeout or sex… I mean girls like sex too right… This is what happens when women think they can do everything on their own and be independent… Every woman need men”.
Kiren also later insulted the size of Chinese men’s private parts and remarked about a “plan” to push Chinese out of the country, which caused Gerakan Youth to lodge a police report.
His comments received a public backlash, with a Change.org online petition calling for him to be barred from becoming a doctor.
The petition has garnered more than 70,000 signatures at time of writing.
IMU had on March 12 said that Kiren was issued a show-cause letter and was instructed to be on home leave for two weeks.
A formal disciplinary hearing is underway, with IMU saying that it is providing medical evaluation and behavioural counselling to the student.