A male teacher accused of making lewd remarks and joking about rape during a physical and health education class has been temporarily relieved of his teaching duties at SMK Puncak Alam
The teacher has been transferred to the Selangor State Education Department and will remain there until police investigations against him are completed, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE).
The Ministry's acknowledgement today, 12 May, of the incident that happened in April comes amidst widespread criticism from the public over its silence and treatment of the student who exposed the matter.
MOE justified its silence over the case, saying the case is still under police investigation.
In a statement, MOE confirmed that the student, Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, lodged a police report on 24 April, and said that the Ministry's next course of action will depend on the outcome of the investigation.
The 17-year-old student had taken to social media on 24 April to expose the male teacher for making rape jokes. Following which, she reportedly received rape threats from students in her school.
Since then, while there has been an outpouring of support for Ain, there has also been a barrage of criticism against her.
One such detractor is alleged to be the principal at Ain's school. The principal called Ain a "hypocrite", "Satan's spawn wearing a headscarf", and told Ain's parents to "educate her with manners".
According to MOE, it examined the derogatory Facebook comments which were allegedly made by the SMK Puncak Alam's principal under a poster for an online forum where Ain donned a hijab.
The Ministry said that the principal denied making those comments.
She lodged a report at the Kuala Selangor police station, claiming her account was hacked.
Meanwhile, on 9 May, Ain claimed that she had received a warning notice of expulsion from her school over her absence of three days
Commenting on it, MOE said the warning notice was issued as part of an internal system to monitor students' attendance, either after three consecutive days of being absent, or 10 non-consecutive days.
"The Ministry of Education would like to stress that it always prioritises the safety and welfare of students as well as staff," the Ministry said in the statement.