Criminally Prosecute Alleged Sexual Harassment by Senior Lecturer at University of Malaya

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Yesterday on August 27, 2020, the Attorney General Chambers of Malaysia and the Royal Malaysian Police quietly decided to close the investigation & prosecution path against a University of Malaya senior lecturer. He is accused of sexually harassing his student on June 3, 2019.

The alleged misconduct against the third-year female student included physically touching her hips while asking her disturbing personal questions at his university office. The University of Malaya confirmed this senior lecturer is a repeat offender against multiple students.

What is their rationale to avoid prosecuting this alleged sexual predator?

“We have referred the case to the deputy public prosecutor (DPP) on Aug 13 and the DPP said there will be no charges against the suspect."

“This is on grounds that the suspect has already faced disciplinary action from UM that was triggered by the victim’s complaints."

— Kuala Lumpur CID Chief Nik Ros Azhan Abdul Hamid

We collectively demand that:

  1. The Attorney General's Chambers immediately overturns this disgusting decision by its Public Prosecutor and pushes for full prosecution against this alleged sexual predator lecturer living free in Malaysia.
  2. University of Malaya immediately files a police report detailing what sexual misconduct was found from their reportedly months-long "internal disciplinary investigation".
  3. The Royal Malaysian Police immediately re-opens its investigation against this sexual predator across all applicable laws, including any possible misconduct or impropriety at University of Malaya's Integrity Unit in its reportedly months-long "internal disciplinary investigation".
  4. The Attorney General's Chambers immediately and harshly reprimands its Public Prosecutor whose decision is abhorrent and severely misguided.

Disciplinary proceedings do not replace nor prevent criminal prosecution. Retirement is not an excuse—the Royal Malaysian Police know this. This legal stance is untenable, unfounded, and a disgusting illustration of how multiple institutions can protect the culture of fear, power, and silence: "Justice means privilege for me and silence for you, lah." Sexual harassment, abuse, rape, molest and other criminal acts must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

When the accused is a lecturer, the power imbalance demands transparent, fair, and swift prosecution. The student was already forced to used a pseudonym to protect her identity.

This chilling decision can signal to all Malaysian parents, primary students, secondary students, tertiary students, lecturers, international students, employers, and whistleblowers: Malaysian universities can prefer to protect allegedly sexual harassing lecturers instead of victims who speak up. These kinds of arrogant criminals always seek immunity, even as their histories often suggest years, if not decades, of privileged protection of their abusive behavior.

As we at Tiada.Guru say: evil is not brave, but merely shielded.

Is University of Malaya ready to earn this reputation? If University of Malaya believed discipline was warranted, why not file a police report against this sexual harassment of their student? Does the Government of Malaysia accept the Public Prosecutor's decision to halt prosecution?

Who holds the shields that prevent prosecution?

  1. The Attorney General Chambers (AGC) of Malaysia
  2. The Public Prosecutor (under the AGC)
  3. The Royal Malaysian Police and its Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department Chief Nik Ros Azhan Abdul Hamid
  4. University of Malaya and its Vice-Chancellor Abdul Rahim Hashim

Do not accept excuses of "programs", "reforms", "initiatives", or other "yang lepas lepas lah" behaviours.

The time is now. Not next week. Not next month. The time is now. This week, it is this student's sexual harassment case that is "closed without any prosecution". Next week, it's our friend. Next week, it's our sister or our brother. Next week, it's us. 

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 To all University of Malaya lecturers inside this system:

"There are times when you must speak, not because you are going to change the other person, but because if you don't speak, they have changed you." — Maud

Be the lecturer you wish you had, if you were the student or had your child been the student. The people of Malaysia stand with brave, honest teachers. We were all once children. Ensure you teach at a university worth defending. Light begets light.

Sincerely, 

a teacher who remembers,

"Jika hari ini seorang Perdana Menteri berkuasa
Jika hari ini seorang Raja menaiki takhta
Jika hari ini seorang Presiden sebuah negara
Jika hari ini seorang ulama yang mulia
Jika hari ini seorang peguam menang bicara
Jika hari ini seorang penulis terkemuka
Jika hari ini siapa sahaja menjadi dewasa;

Sejarahnya dimulakan oleh seorang guru biasa
Dengan lembut sabarnya mengajar tulis-baca."

— Usman Awang, 1979 | "Guru Oh Guru"

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