Malaysian Teenager Sued by Teacher Who Allegedly Made Rape Joke to Fight Back

Iskandar Zulkarnain and Nisha David
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian Teenager Sued by Teacher Who Allegedly Made Rape Joke to Fight Back Seventeen-year-old Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam (center) and her lawyer exit a police station after the teen recorded a statement, in Sungai Bulah, Malaysia, Aug.6, 2021.
[S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

A Malaysian teenage girl will countersue her male teacher for allegedly making a rape joke in class after the instructor filed a defamation suit against the traumatized student last week, her father said Thursday.

Saiful Nizam Ab Samad, the father of student Ain Husniza, said they would be suing the school teacher for intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

He said Ain was very disturbed and her school work was suffering after the teacher had sent her a legal letter of demand for an undisclosed amount of money in damages in late November.

“Yes, I have instructed my lawyer to file a countersuit on the person and other parties such as the school’s principal, the Selangor state education director and the education minister,” Saiful Nizam told BenarNews.

“I am determined to make this case a lesson to all parties concerned, in particular those who are supposed to protect the welfare and well-being of students, so that this will be the last [such case.”

In a TikTok video in May, Ain complained that her teacher had joked about rape in a health education class. The video went viral and ignited a nationwide debate on sex education and institutional misogyny, with many girls raising their voices over similar incidents.

Ain said that while discussing laws that protect minors from sexual abuse and harassment, the teacher allegedly said: “If you want to rape someone, do not rape those below 18 years old, rape those above 18 years old.”

Teacher denied claims

In legal papers filed at a Sessions Court, the teacher, Khairul Nizam Sanuddin, alleged he had been defamed.

After the video went viral, the teacher, who had not been named at the time, was reassigned to a state education department while his case was being investigated. BenarNews could not immediately ascertain his current position.

In addition to damages, Khairul Nizam also demanded that Ain remove all the content on the case from her social media accounts, which he claimed were malicious and slanderous. Those contents, he said, had tainted his image, portrayed him as an immoral teacher, and a bad example to his students.

He also denied making rape jokes in class, claiming he was merely explaining to students what could be considered rape, the penalty for committing the crime, and how to protect oneself from being a victim.

In August, the teacher had sent a letter of demand to Ain seeking 1 million ringgit (U.S. $237,000) in compensation for alleged defamation. The girl’s family had then responded by instructing their lawyer to countersue the teacher for 5 million ringgit (U.S. $1.18 million) for emotional distress.

BenarNews was unable to contact Khairul Nizam or his lawyer’s office.

‘Ain stands by her allegation’

Meanwhile, Ain moved to a new school the same month she made the TikTok video, her father said. The reason? Schoolmates began to ostracize her after she filed a police report about the teacher, she said.

She was happy with the new school which offered her a scholarship, her father said.

“The teachers and her schoolmates are fully supportive towards her campaign to make school a safer place,” Saiful Nizam said.

Despite the pressures she has endured, Saiful Nizam said his daughter was not backing off from her claims.

“Ain stands by her allegation. Nothing has changed,” he said.

Saiful Nizam also said that he and Ain had never named the teacher and therefore did not see a need to fulfil his demand unless the court ordered it.

Noah Lee in Kuala Lumpur contributed to this report.


Add your comment by filling out the form below in plain text. Comments are approved by a moderator and can be edited in accordance with RFAs Terms of Use. Comments will not appear in real time. RFA is not responsible for the content of the postings. Please, be respectful of others' point of view and stick to the facts.