SHAH ALAM: Offers of help have poured in for outspoken schoolgirl Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, said Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.
He gave an example of an individual he had spoken with about her situation, who had offered to sponsor Ain Husniza’s schooling up to tertiary level and cover the cost of transferring to another school, even a private one.
“Of course, it is up to her family and I will first have to discuss it with them," Amirudin told reporters after attending a women’s programme at the state secretariat on Tuesday (May 4).
Ain Husniza came into the public eye after she exposed one of her male teachers for allegedly joking about rape in class recently.
Amirudin said many people would have assumed Ain Husniza came from a privileged background by the way she spoke and expressed herself as well as her understanding of the issue.
However, added Amirudin, the 17-year-old came from a simple and humble background.
He added it had also been brought to his attention that Ain Husniza was an ardent reader.
“Her bravery in highlighting the issue and talking about it should be appreciated, ’’ said the Mentri Besar.
On what had transpired in Ain Husniza's school, Amirudin said it was sad that something like that could happen in a place which was supposed to educate.
“We are in 2021 and have to progress not only in terms of technology, development and modality but also in thinking, behaviour and attitude.
“We have to move towards becoming a developed society," he said.
Asked about the lewd comments aimed at the girl on social media by men, some of whom were purportedly teachers, Amirudin said it was a very disturbing turn.
“That is my concern and also in regards to her male teachers and classmates in school. Has she become an enemy of the teachers and the school?" asked Amirudin.
The Mentri Besar said he was worried that Ain Husniza would end up being persecuted for speaking up.
“That this is happening in a school which should be teaching proper behaviour and attitude indicates the reality on the ground.
“No wonder we have office and domestic problems because it started off on the wrong foot in school. Some teachers (regard as) normal what is actually filthy and needs to be changed," he said.
Meanwhile, Selangor Public Health, Unity, Women Empowerment and Family Committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said the Education Ministry must have guidelines on what teachers can and cannot say to their students.
Dr Siti Mariah also said it was unacceptable for Ain Husniza to be body-shamed by certain quarters on social media for speaking up.