PETALING JAYA: The incident where a teacher had allegedly joked and trivialised rape during a lesson in school cannot be considered an isolated case, says former education minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
He said the Education Ministry must take stern action against the teacher if it is proven that such an incident did occur.
He said the action of the teacher was unprofessional and embarrassed the teaching institutions in the country.
"As a former school principal and former education minister, the incident is a disgrace to the teaching institution in the country.
“In whatever situation, such a matter should not be used as a joke because rape itself is a criminal act that should never be promoted, especially from a teacher," he said in a statement on Monday (April 26).
Mahdzir said a teacher’s role is to educate students to stay away from the crime of rape, adding that the crime should not be used as satire or a joke.
"For me, this is also related to the morals of the teacher. We are not taking the approach of ‘punishing’ the morals of all teachers in Malaysia.
“However, there is a limit to one’s speech and it should be instilled in every teacher to ensure all students in class do not feel emotionally disturbed with the morals and the conduct of their teachers.”
Mahdzir urged the Education Ministry to immediately conduct an investigation and to take appropriate action according to the guidelines.
On Friday (April 23), a 17-year-old student had claimed that a male teacher had made jokes about rape during a physical and health education class at her school in Selangor.
She had said that the inappropriate remarks were made while students were discussing sexual harassment during the lesson.
"We were talking about how there are laws protecting minors from sexual abuse and harassment and then he said 'if you want to rape someone, don't rape those under 18, rape those above 18'," she said.