Form 5 student Ain Husniza and her father, who have been slapped with a defamation lawsuit over alleged rape jokes made by her former teacher, will not only defend themselves but will file a counterclaim, says their lawyer
According to Malaysiakini, Ain's lawyer Datuk Sankara Nair said Ain and her father, Saiful Nizam, will be filing a counterclaim against the teacher, Khairul Nizam Sanuddin, for tort of intentionally inflicting emotional distress.
The lawyer said the duo will also be naming the Education Minister, the Selangor state education director, and SMK Puncak Alam's principal as defendants for their alleged negligence in failing to protect her.
Sankara said the claim is an actionable tort as Ain suffered emotional distress over the rape joke made during class and its aftermath
"The teacher is still employed by the government, so naturally whatever (alleged) wrong he did, the government is liable on the basis of vicarious liability," said the lawyer.
Free Malaysia Today also reported Sankara as saying the Education Minister should have ordered an inquiry into allegations when the incident first broke out in April this year.
"But, unfortunately, he seemed to have abdicated his statutory duty and has remained lackadaisically indolent and uncannily reticent," he said.
Meanwhile, Seputeh member of Parliament (MP) Teresa Kok has also urged Education Minister Radzi Jidin to take an official stand on the case
The veteran lawmaker said on Facebook that the legal action shows that the teacher remains unapologetic about his behaviour and "still feels what he did is proper".
Former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching, in a Malaysiakini column, has also voiced her disapproval in how poorly the Ministry of Education (MOE) has handled the matter, which has led to a teacher and student suing each other.
"From the beginning, MOE did not take ownership of the problem, leaving it to the police while taking a lackadaisical attitude. The minister and his team failed to resolve this before it turned into a legal dispute," she said.
She added that this shows the system has clearly failed Ain.
Physical education teacher Khairul Nizam is suing Ain and her father for defamation seven months after the issue blew up:
Since speaking out, Ain has sparked a nationwide debate on sexual harassment in schools and encouraged more victims to come forward: