The Ipoh Magistrate's Court has decided to drop a sexual abuse case concerning a minor at a tahfiz school following the Attorney-General's request to do so
According to Malay Mail, the Ipoh court had acknowledged two months ago that the crime did take place, but the case was dismissed without explanation yesterday, 14 October.
The ruling came after the court received a letter from the Perak State Legal Adviser's Office.
The letter laid out a directive from Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, invoked under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.
The lawyer fighting for the abused child, Asiah Abd Jalil, said the law grants the AG the ability to discontinue any proceeding for an offence.
The case involved a then nine-year-old boy who was allegedly abused by his seniors for five months at Maahad Tahfiz al Barakah in Manjoi, Ipoh
The religious school was previously owned by celebrity preacher Datuk Kazim Elias, reported The Star.
The case was brought into the limelight back in 2016, especially after former TV celebrity Wardina Safiyyah and social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi made the incident viral on social media.
"The system has failed me and my son," said the victim's mother, Johanna Sarah Harun Ronald - who has been fighting for three years
In August 2016, Johanna filed two police reports alleging that her son, along with other victims, were sexually abused by senior students.
Four months later, she was told by the police there would be no further action over the case, reported Malay Mail.
Her efforts continued in May 2018 as she provided additional documents and evidence to support her claim.
But she was told that no further action would be taken again, citing a lack of witnesses and concrete evidence to back her claim.
In August this year, Johanna filed a complaint again under the Section 377E and Section 14(a) of the more recent Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017. It was then that the court recognised that the sexual offence did take place.
However, the case was still rejected by the AG despite three years of effort, seeking justice for her child.
"We have exhausted all avenues to get answers as to why the case was marked as 'No Further Action'," said the family's lawyer, Asiah.
The mother is currently considering filing a civil suit against the school for negligence
"As I can see, justice has not been served," she said.
She added that her now 13-year-old son has to undergo psychiatric therapy to overcome his trauma at Hospital Bahagia in Tanjung Rambutan.
His treatment will conclude in three years' time.