Women MPs want sexual harassment policies, SOPs in schools reviewed

·3-min read
Women MPs want sexual harassment policies, SOPs in schools reviewed
Women MPs want sexual harassment policies, SOPs in schools reviewed

A group of 20 women MPs have urged the government to review the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and existing policies dealing with sexual harassment investigations in educational institutions.

This comes after 17-year-old Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam (above) exposed “rape jokes” made by a male teacher in class. She later received a rape threat from a schoolmate, who apologised a few days later.

“Even though a police report had been lodged by the victim, we women MPs have asked the government to review the SOPs and existing policies related to investigation methods for sexual harassment reports happening in schools like this and all educational institutions.

“We urge the government to take this more seriously and with more concern, to look after the interests of the complainant, specifically school students, by handling this urgent issue immediately.

“We want the prime minister’s commitment in assuring the students’ safety in schools. Students should feel safe in school and be protected by their teachers,” read a statement jointly signed by 20 women MPs from both sides of the political divide today.

They said they also wrote a letter on May 3 to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to voice their concern about the incident involving Ain Husniza, urging him to take this matter seriously and to take action immediately.

The 20 MPs are as follows:

  1. Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin (Harapan-DAP)

  2. Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri (GPS-PBB)

  3. Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto (Harapan-DAP)

  4. Beaufort MP Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu)

  5. Hulu Selangor MP June Leow Hsiad Hui (Harapan-PKR)

  6. Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi (Harapan-DAP)

  7. Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Warisan)

  8. Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh (Harapan-PKR)

  9. Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching (Harapan-DAP)

  10. Lanang MP Alice Lau (Harapan-DAP)

  11. Masjid Tanah MP Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Bersatu)

  12. Merbok MP Nor Azrina Surip (Harapan-PKR)

  13. Pandan MP Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Harapan-PKR)

  14. Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said (BN-Umno)

  15. Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar (Harapan-PKR)

  16. Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah (Harapan-PKR)

  17. Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh (Harapan-DAP)

  18. Seputeh MP Teresa Kok (Harapan-DAP)

  19. Tangga Batu MP Rusnah Aluai (Harapan-PKR)

  20. Tenom MP Noorita Sual (Harapan-DAP)

In a separate statement, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) children’s commissioner Noor Aziah Mohd Awal said she was concerned about the recent reports of “poor conduct” of some teachers.

Teaching is a noble profession, one which plays an important role in developing the potential of children, she said.

“Teachers are role models and must realise their actions, or non-actions, would impact the lives of their students for many years. Teachers must respect children’s rights and treat them with dignity at all times,” she said.

As such, Noor Aziah urged the education minister to take action against teachers who harass their students.

Schools must be made safe places for children, she stressed, and more measures should be taken so children can enjoy their time gaining a wholesome education.

“The function of schools, training of teachers, and education system should be reviewed,” she said.