He Groped Nur Dhia's Butt, Says Sister Of Athlete Who Assaulted A Disabled Senior Citizen
A close friend of the taekwondo athlete revealed "what actually happened" in a series of tweets.
Last week, on 9 April, taekwondo athelete Nur Dhia Liyana Shaharuddin was ordered to issue a public apology to a disabled senior citizen for allegedly assaulting him at the Putra Heights LRT station two years ago
Quoting the plaintiff's lawyer Datuk Dr S. Arunan, Harian Metro reported that the sportswoman kicked 71-year-old Placid P. Rodriguez three times on left leg and twice on his right leg. He claimed that Nur Dhia pushed him as he was walking on the platform, and had scolded and shouted at him.
Arunan said Nur Dhia was also ordered to pay RM88 in special damages, RM1,000 in general damages, and RM1,000 legal costs to Rodriguez.
However, one question remained - why would a national athlete beat up a senior citizen seemingly for no reason at all?
While Nur Dhia herself has yet to issue a statement, a Twitter user who claimed to be a close friend of the sportswoman's family has stepped forward to reveal Nur Dhia's alleged side of the story.
In a series of tweets, @Zackulfah published an e-mail from Nur Dhia's sister, who alleged that Nur Dhia felt a hand groping her butt when the man walked past them on the day of the incident
The email stated that Nur Dhia and her companion were walking along the platform when her friend noticed the disabled man approaching from behind.
"When (Nur Dhia's companion) noticed him coming from behind and pulled Nur Dhia's arm to give way to the 'victim'. Suddenly, she saw the victim's hand on Dhia's butt.
"Dhia, who felt her butt being groped turned around and pushed the 'victim' away to defend herself and her dignity as a woman," Nur Dhia's sister wrote, adding that the passage was clear and well-lit, and not crowded as claimed by the plaintiff.
Dhia allegedly confronted the man and repeatedly asked "why you grab my butt?", but he simply replied "what?" instead of apologising
"If the 'victim' did not do it on purpose, he should have said 'sorry' instead of just saying the word 'what'.
"Sentuh (touching), selisih (brushing past), gesel (rubbing), pegang (holding), ramas (groping) are all different things," she stressed.
Following the altercation, police officers brought Nur Dhia, her companion, and the man to the police room. At that point, Nur Dhia's sister was already called to the scene.
"More than five policemen were in the room and they suggested filing a police report on this. We agreed and proceeded to file a police report," she wrote.
However, Nur Dhia's sister revealed that the athlete was later advised by "certain parties" to withdraw her police report, as it could disrupt her focus on the then-upcoming SEA Games
"Dhia was forced to 'close one eye' on her right as a woman. Dhia had to withdraw her police report, although she was a victim. Dhia was groped, it was not an accidental touch or light brush," she wrote.
Months later, Dhia was shocked to receive two summons from the court - one for a civil case, and another for a criminal case.
"No words can describe how depressed and frustrated she was, especially getting charged for a criminal case," her sister added.
While the criminal charges were eventually dropped, Nur Dhia's sister said that the civil case had to be settled out of court as Nur Dhia was no longer able to shoulder the legal costs
"Dhia decided to accept the victim's requirements, to apologise and compensate him as per the judge's decision," she wrote.
She explained that both cases dragged on because they decided to "fight for Dhia's rights as a woman and as a taekwondo athlete", adding that Dhia was actually six months pregnant when she was acquitted of the criminal charges in August last year.
She stressed that Dhia had already decided not to pursue the case from the very beginning, especially after withdrawing her police report and dropping all charges against the purported "victim"
"There's no reason for a self-defence athlete to assault a disabled person willy-nilly. It would have been a stupid and crazy thing to do," Nur Dhia's sister wrote.
"Because of this case, Dhia's name and sacrifice for her country and the art of taekwondo have been tainted. For that, Dhia apologises if the disabled community, especially those in the taekwondo family who have been affected by this news. Truthfully, she was only defending herself and her dignity as a woman."