Local university fires lecturer over sexual harassment after victim takes to social media

After more than 15 months of lodging a police report against her lecturer for sexual harassment, Farah Azuin Abdul Razak finally received justice. Yesterday, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) announced that it had terminated the lecturer immediately.

“After the interrogation and internal investigation procedures were completed and discussed by the disciplinary committee, UiTM has taken action to immediately terminate the service of the lecturer who was accused of sexually harassing the former student,” it said in a statement.

UiTM stated that it has investigated the claims of sexual harassment made against the professor in accordance with the rules and procedures outlined in the Statutory Bodies (Discipline and Surcharge) Act 2000. (Act 605).

The legislation stated that disciplinary action might be taken against staff employees who disobey Act 605 and UiTM regulations’ norms, codes of behaviour, and prohibitions.

On the basis of all the information gathered, the UiTM Integrity Unit noted that a thorough investigation had been carried out starting last year.

Last August, Farah voiced out on Twitter about her predicament, stating that despite lodging a police report and complaint to the university a year ago on June 2, 2021, nothing had been done. The tweet gained traction and got over eight thousand retweets.

She uploaded screenshots of her WhatsApp discussion with the lecturer and pictures of a police report that she had filed.

According to the chat, the professor had also requested the student’s participation in a “Survey on Sexual Awareness Among Students of Higher Learning Institutions.”

The poll questioned participants, among other things, if they had ever used sex toys and whether it had made them feel aroused.

Another survey question asked respondents to arrange the ideal sequence of events during an intimate encounter.

In another update the following month, Farah said she still had not received any updates from the police or UiTM although the lecturer had filed a lawsuit against her on September 6 for allegedly exposing his private life and identifying the institution.

Meanwhile, in the same statement, UiTM vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Roziah Mohd Janor said the university’s staff members are regularly reminded about Act 605.

“If anyone disobeys an order or behaves in any way that can reasonably be interpreted as disobeying an order, the university will not compromise and will take stern action against them,” she added.

If you or anyone you know were sexually harassed and would like to lodge a complaint, you can contact AWAM (All Women’s Action Society) at +60016-2374221 or +60016-2284221 for support and guidance on drafting the police report.

Additionally, for online sexual harassment, you can also lodge a complaint with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). For more information, visit here.