PETALING JAYA: Standing with student Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, Selangor lawmakers are urging the Education Ministry to take stern action against the teenager’s school principal, who purportedly labelled her “satan’s spawn”.
In a joint statement, 27 assemblymen and 11 MPs from Selangor Pakatan Harapan took the Education Ministry to task for not addressing Ain Husniza’s statements in a TikTok video she posted about a male teacher making rape jokes in class.
No action was taken against the teacher even after the 17-year-old’s expose on rape culture in the school sent shockwaves throughout the nation.
“The ministry, in its response, did not make any mention of Ain's case but only focused on the issue of period checks on girls.
“The ministry is expected to ensure justice is served but has chosen to ignore the elephant in the room.
“The handling of Ain's case leaves a black mark on democracy as we are telling our youth that those who speak out will be regarded as dissidents, agitators or worse, now labelled as 'satan's spawn', ” the representatives said in the statement on Monday (May 10).
On Saturday (May 8), a Facebook account allegedly belonging to SMK Puncak Alam principal Sarimah Mohamed Nor (named “Aimanaizah Sarimahmohamednor”) called Ain Husniza a “hypocrite” and “satan’s spawn wearing a headscarf”, and told Ain’s parents to “educate her with manners”.
The comments were left on a post promoting Ain Husniza and her mother Niza Sharifudin’s appearance in a Facebook live session with Khadijah Learning Centre.
“So far, the headmistress has not denied it and has since deleted the comment made on (Ain's father) Saiful Nizam’s Facebook page.
“Intentionally or not, her comments have further given licence to other educators and students to view jokes about violence against women as acceptable, as well as to demean anyone who dares to question the status quo, ” said the statement.
The representatives said there has definitely been a miscarriage of justice because Ain Husniza, who dared to speak up against rape culture, is being penalised by her own school.
Ain Husniza is facing possible expulsion from school after skipping school as she feels unsafe that the male teacher is still teaching and the fact that she had also received rape threats from a fellow student.
“The person who dares to speak up against such culture gets penalised by her own school while the teacher who made the joke and the student who made the rape threats against Ain, both get away without even a slap on the wrist.
“Ain has been denied her education and is now forced to possibly move to another school.
“This is unacceptable as children will take the cue from their educators and rape jokes will be normalised, ” the representatives added.
They said there is an urgent need to raise awareness on gender sensitivity among teachers and students, adding that a Gender Equality Act as proposed by Pakatan Harapan must be in place.
The undersigned included Pandan MP Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Klang MP Charles Santiago, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, Damansara MP Tony Pua, Bandar Utama assemblyman Jamaliah Jamaluddin, Bukit Melawati assemblyman Juwairiya Zulkifli and Balakong assembylman Wong Siew Ki, among others.