Majlis Amanah Rakyat's (MARA) intention to offer child porn convict Nur Fitri Azmeen Nordin another chance to complete his studies in any MARA institution of his choosing upon his release is not sitting well with the public, if the trending hashtag #NoSecondChance on Twitter is any indication
A brief recap: Nur Fitri was sentenced to five years of jail in the UK last week after he pleaded guilty to 13 offences including the possession and production of child pornography with the intent to distribute the images and videos
Nur Fitri, who was studying at the prestigious Imperial College in London under a study loan by MARA, has since had his loan terminated.
However, MARA council member Nazir Hussin Akhtar Hussin said yesterday that the government agency has agreed to extend their support to Nur Fitri upon his release by allowing him to continue his studies in any MARA institution as "he is a smart student and it is a pity to waste someone who can be an asset to the country".
At the helm of #NoSecondChance is klubbkid, a blogger and former journalist, who used the hashtag to rally Twitter users in protest of MARA's "second chance" offer yesterday
The hashtag quickly became a hot topic on Twitter and soon climbed its way to the top of Malaysia's trending topics with many sharing their outrage over the leniency shown towards a known sex offender as well as concerns over the potential risk Nur Fitri's return may pose to our children
#NoSecondChance remember the children folks, remember them - letting that guy back is sending the wrong messages across the board— Fyroozredzuan (@fyroozredzuan) May 6, 2015
#NoSECONDchance. Let your daughter, niece or someone close to you to be his victim, will you still give him another chance?— Tylerboy / iM4Ufm (@TylerBoy_) May 6, 2015
Khairy Jamaluddin also joined in the fray of comments, saying that Nur Fitri does not need any kind of sponsorship from MARA in terms of getting a "second chance" after completing his prison term and a long bout of rehabilitation
After he serves the severest punishment. https://t.co/fzfNtsEZYe— Khairy Jamaluddin (@Khairykj) May 6, 2015
Selepas menjalani hukuman penjara & pemulihan yang panjang paedo boleh usahakan peluang kedua by himself. Tak perlu tajaan MARA etc.— Khairy Jamaluddin (@Khairykj) May 6, 2015
While it is widely agreed that everyone deserves another chance, the general perception is that Nur Fitri has not earned nor does he deserve it due to the severity of his crimes
I believe in second chances. I just dont think everyone deserves them. #NoSecondChance— ipansu (@ipansu) May 6, 2015
Everybody deserves a second chance in life. But you gotta earn it. He can complete his education in prison. #NoSecondChance— shakir (@ShakirAmeer) May 6, 2015
Everyone deserves second chance, but the chance is to repent n change. I don't think another loan should be given to him #NoSecondChance— HΛNIS ZΛFIRΛH ♕ (@Athrawk) May 6, 2015
Moreover, MARA justifying their decision based on their claims that Nur Fitri is a "smart student" who can be an asset to the country is certainly NOT an excuse nor a factor in forgiving vile, criminal behaviour
Just because he excels academically doesn't mean he's a "national asset", he doesn't have an ounce of humanity in him left #NoSecondChance— Amirah Fatimah ♔ (@heyfascination) May 5, 2015
Intelligence does not justify criminal behaviour. There are others with just as much as smarts with no criminal desires. #NoSecondChance— Amir Shahmi (@ShahmiNazir) May 6, 2015
In fact, many Twitter users pointed out that there are loads of brilliant students who are much more worthy of scholarships and study loans in this country
I hope legit Math Geniuses like Justin Lim Kai Zee are given a scholarship otherwise that would be bullshit— Effi Saharudin (@1Obefiend) May 6, 2015
Malay student or not, there are many other deserving students for scholarships. Mara please set your priorities straight. #NoSecondChance— Arthur Yeow (@arthuryeow) May 6, 2015
Rather than granting Nur Fitri another loan or scholarship upon his release, he should be sent for psychiatric evaluation and treatment as well as extensive rehabilitation to curb his depravity
Severe punishment. Granting a scholarship will not help to curb the problem. He needs psychiatric help. Not financial. #NoSecondChance— suraya (@surayahssn) May 6, 2015
The #NoSecondChance tag also served as a platform for some to strike back at Nur Fitri apologists, especially those who defended his actions by equating child porn with regular porn and homosexuality
Sex with kids is not normal. Pedo BUKAN seks dgn yg baligh. Ya rabbi, semoga manusia mcmni xhidup lama pic.twitter.com/ZqsbRdV9uN— KayKay Carmen (@karmenlunarxisc) May 5, 2015
Some say Nur Fitri is young & young ppl do stupid things. Stupid things would be getting wasted, skipping lectures, pulling stupid pranks.— Nik Nor Zafirah (@zaffyaffendi) May 5, 2015
Two online petitions have also been created to urge local authorities to disallow Nur Fitri from resuming his education in Malaysia after he completes his jail term
A petition posted on Avaaz.org by Sabrina M., which is addressed to PM Najib Razak, has already surpassed its goal of 1,000 signatures. According to Sabrina, Nur Fitri should be paying to resume his studies by himself and his location should also be disclosed so that people are aware of his whereabouts.
Another petition on Care2Petition addressed to MARA is close to reaching its goal of 3,000 signatures.