Ain & Dad Question How Govt Lawyers Can Defend Teacher Who Made Rape Joke In Private Suit

A senior federal counsel (SFC) has entered his appearance to defend the 17-year-old's former school teacher and SMK Puncak Alam's former principal, both of whom Ain and her father are countersuing in their personal capacity.

Cover image via Saiful Nizam (Facebook)

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A student and her father have questioned government lawyers representing a former teacher and a former principal, both of whom the student and her father are countersuing in their personal capacity

Calling the decision "wholly unacceptable", student Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam's father Saiful Nizam Ab Wahab asked, "How can public money be spent to defend private suits?"

Ain and her father, in an affidavit, said that it was improper and irregular for a senior federal counsel (SFC) to defend the student's former teacher and the former principal, who are named defendants in the civil suit.

According to Ain and her father, if government lawyers represent a public servant in a personal capacity, the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) must first issue a certificate allowing them to do so.

Something that the AGC has not done in this case, they noted in their affidavit, which was confirmed by lawyer SN Nair, who submitted it on Ain and her father's behalf at the Klang Sessions Court recently.

A file photo of Ain Husniza during an interview with Utusan Malaysia last year.

Image via Utusan Malaysia

This comes after the SFC entered his appearance to defend the former teacher, Khairul Nizam Sanuddin, and SMK Puncak Alam's former principal, who allegedly called Ain a "hypocrite" and "satan's spawn"

Ain and her father claimed that the SFC's action to act for the former SMK Puncak Alam principal was wrong, as she was no longer a public servant at the time the suit was filed, reported Free Malaysia Today.

"The government's voluntary intervention to defend the teacher and the [principal] who were sued in their personal capacities is most outrageous and unfathomable," Saiful Nizam was quoted as saying.

"Especially when the teacher himself had initiated the private suit against Ain, a minor, and her father. How can public money be spent to defend private suits?"

The former physical and health education teacher from SMK Puncak Alam first filed a defamation lawsuit against Ain at the Shah Alam Sessions Court on 26 November last year.

Prior to filing his suit against Ain, the teacher had not been named.

Following which, Ain and her father countersued the teacher while also naming Sarimah Mohammed Nor, the former principal in their personal capacities. Also named in the suit are Selangor Education director Anismah M Noh, Education Minister Radzi Jidin, and the Federal government as defendants.

The countersuit against them is, among others, for tort of intentionally inflicting emotional distress over rape jokes allegedly made during a physical education class at the school and in the aftermath.

Meanwhile, Ain took to Twitter to express that she is devastated

Ain said that she and her father are doing whatever they can to set things right in their personal capacity to make schools a safe place. "We just want to make schools safer, and I feel like this is so, so, so unfair."

I don't understand what is needed to have us, as children... as students' rights to be protected in this country. :(
Ain Husniza

Since speaking out against rape culture in Malaysian schools, the 17-year-old has sparked a nationwide debate on sex education.

Ain has also become a prominent name in the fight to #MakeSchoolASaferPlace in the country that has seen her receiving death as well as rape threats. Read more about it here:

Anecdotal evidence has shown that over 41% of sexual harassment cases in schools were committed by teachers and figures of authority: