National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan has offered his apology amidst Malaysians calling him out for perpetuating rape culture when he dismissed calls to investigate allegations of abuse and sexual harassment at the hands of teachers
According to Harry, the NUTP does not condone any form of sexual harassment.
In a statement on Friday, 7 May, the NUTP sec-gen apologised for not making the union's stand clear.
"Please accept my sincere apology. Neither me nor the NUTP would ever support any teacher who perpetrates the systemic nature of sexual harassment, rape, and abuse in schools," he said.
"The point I was trying to make was that the majority of the country's 450,000 teachers are dedicated, hard-working, and caring educators. Unfortunately, that did not come across clearly."
Harry had gone on the defensive during an interview earlier this week when questioned if the NUTP will investigate the allegations
In the interview with Astro Awani on Wednesday night, 5 May, the NUTP sec-gen asked for "facts" despite the fact that hundreds of former and current students have been coming out to share their experience.
"How is it a widespread problem? Where are the statistics? Where is the data? Who are they talking about? How many schools are involved? We have 450,000 teachers in the country, we have 10,000 schools. How many schools are they talking about? Give me the facts," he shot back when asked.
Both Harry and NUTP president Aminuddin Awang, however, did not state if the union will carry out any investigations into the allegations
Aminuddin, instead, asked victims to bring the issue to justice.
He echoed Harry's remarks.
"There are 450,000 teachers in schools across our country and it is not fair for any party to generally point fingers at our teachers in matters relating to sexual harassment. Our teachers are trained, dedicated, disciplined, committed, and work hard for our students," the NUTP president said.
Recently, a 17-year-old student took to TikTok to expose her teacher for making rape jokes. Following which, she received rape threats: