UKM says accepted child porn ex-convict due to excellent studies, extraordinary capabilities

Ida Lim
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said it will give 'chances' to those who apply for a place in its higher learning institution and fulfil its academic criteria, in response to public questions and unease over Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin’s acceptance. — Screen capture via Google Maps

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Reported math genius Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin who was convicted of child pornography in the UK is confirmed to be a post-graduate student in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

The country’s second-oldest university said it will give “chances” to those who apply for a place in its higher learning institution and fulfil its academic criteria, in response to public questions and unease over Nur Fitri’s acceptance.

“Regarding the student, Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, he is now a UKM student that is pursuing his studies at the PhD level,” it said in a statement.

“He was selected to further his studies here due to his extraordinary capabilities and his excellence in his studies,” it added.

UKM said it had previously accepted Nur Fitri as a student when he was pursuing his Bachelor’s degree and that it is aware of his criminal record.

“After the selection to accept him, various views were taken into account and evaluated. UKM is also clear about and understands the prior conviction and sentencing imposed on him before this,” it said.

“Throughout his studies here, he is very committed towards his studies and has not shown any suspicious behaviour. 

“UKM has also never received any complaints against him throughout his studies in UKM,” the university added.

“UKM believes that education can help to transform individuals by giving them a chance to improve themselves to achieve their highest success in life,” it concluded.

The full statement was published in local daily Sinar Harian’s website.

Yesterday, Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister Hannah Yeoh took to Twitter in a four-part statement to explain that the official records of convicted child sexual offenders which can be checked by the public via the Child Registry only includes convictions from 2017 onwards, as the database is on offenders convicted under a new 2017 law.

Yeoh noted that Nur Fitri was convicted in the UK in 2015, two years before Malaysia introduced the Sexual Offences Against Children (SOAC) Act 2017. Yeoh had said offenders under the 2017 law are kept in the database known as Child Registry.

The public can apply to the Social Welfare Department to cross-check individuals working closely with children against the database or Child Registry which the department maintains, in order to verify if the individual has past convictions for sexual offences against children.

The 2017 law covers a wide range of offences, including the crimes of possessing, making, publishing, exchanging, selling, distributing of child pornography; child grooming or sexual communication with a child; or physical or non-physical sexual assault against a child.

Nur Fitri, who was studying mathematics at the Imperial College London, was reportedly found to be in possession of over 30,000 videos and photographs of child pornography, including 601 belonging to “Category A” which depicts abuse involving penetrative sexual acts with children.

Nur Fitri was reportedly arrested, charged and convicted in the UK on November 21, 2014, before being sentenced by the UK courts on April 30, 2015 to five years’ imprisonment over offences relating to child pornography.

* A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.

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