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Ustaz Ebit Lew Says The Sexual Harassment Charges Against Him Are A "Test From God"

According to Bukit Aman CID director Abd Jalil Hassan, Ebit allegedly sent lewd texts and photos to a woman and police have collected solid evidence against the celebrity preacher.

Cover image via Free Malaysia Today & Juwan Riduan/New Straits Times

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Celebrity preacher Ebit Irawan Ibrahim Lew, who is more popularly known as Ustaz Ebit Lew, has been slapped with 11 charges of sexual harassment at an interior court in Sabah yesterday, 18 February

Charged under Section 509 of the Penal Code, Ebit pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

If convicted, the 37-year-old preacher faces up to five years in jail or a fine, or both.

Magistrate Nur Asyraf Zolhani at the Circuit Court in the Tenom district office allowed Ebit to be released after he posted bail of RM11,000 — RM1,000 per charge — and two sureties.

She has fixed 20 to 23 April for the trial.

Ebit Irawan Ibrahim Lew was seen being escorted at Tenom magistrate's court yesterday.

Image via Juwan Riduan/New Straits Times

Ebit, however, claims that people are trying to tarnish his image and credibility as a charity worker and that the charges are a test from God

According to Ebit, these are baseless accusations with an ulterior motive to ruin his credibility.

"I believe someone or a group of people had planned for this, I will get through it and I see this as a test from God," The Star quoted the preacher cum philanthropist as saying after he was charged.

He also claims that he was taken aback by the court case as he was in Sabah for charity work.

"I was shocked to learn about them while I was in the midst of carrying out charity work in Sabah. I actually wasn't here for the court case. But I am not worried because I know I am not guilty. I believe this is a test from Allah," he said, adding that this will not stop him from carrying out community work.

Ebit Lew (second from right) with his lawyer Zairi Zainal Abidin (second from left) and other friends in Tenom, Sabah, yesterday, 18 February.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

Meanwhile, Bukit Aman CID director Abd Jalil Hassan said Ebit allegedly sent lewd texts and photos through WhatsApp to a woman

In a press conference at the Tenom police headquarters yesterday, Abd Jalil said that investigations showed that Ebit had sent these lewd messages and pictures to a Malay woman in Tenom.

"The offences took place between March and July last year," he told reporters, adding that the police are also probing other sexual harassment claims by the same woman.

In total three reports have been lodged against Ebit under Section 509 of the Penal Code for outraging of modesty, Section 14 of Minor Offences Act, and Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act.

He said the reports were lodged by two women – one in Tenom and another in Peninsular Malaysia. The victims who lodged the reports are between 21 and 40 years old.

"We have investigated all angles regarding this case, including the possibility of slander. However, we have collected solid evidence which culminated with the prosecution today, 18 February," he said.

In September last year, police opened an investigation paper after obscene videos and texts allegedly linked to the preacher went viral:

Following this, Ebit was summoned twice to facilitate investigations:

If you or someone you know may be at risk or has experienced sexual abuse or assault, please reach out to these Malaysian organisations:

1. WOMEN'S AID ORGANISATION (WAO)
Operating hours: 24-hour
Contact: +603-30008858
SMS/WhatsApp: +6018-9888058
Website | Facebook | Twitter

2. ALL WOMEN'S ACTION SOCIETY (AWAM)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (9.30am - 5.30pm)
Contact: +603-78770224
WhatsApp/Telegram: +6016-2284221 | +6016-2374221
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

3. WOMEN'S CENTRE FOR CHANGE PENANG (WCC PENANG)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (9am - 5pm)
Contact: +604-2280342 | +604-3988340
WhatsApp: +6011-31084001 | +6016-4180342
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

4. SARAWAK WOMEN FOR WOMEN SOCIETY (SWWS)
Operating hours: Monday (7pm - 9pm),Tuesday to Thursday (9.30am - 11.30am), Saturday (2pm - 4pm)
Contact: +6082-368853
SMS/WhatsApp: +6016-5822660 | +6013-8044285
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

5. SABAH WOMEN'S ACTION-RESOURCE GROUP (SAWO)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (9am - 5pm)
Contact: +6088-280200 | +6011-27908020
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

6. PROTECT AND SAVE THE CHILDREN (PS THE CHILDREN)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (3pm - 12am)
WhatsApp: +6016-7213065
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

7. INTERNET WATCH FOUNDATION (IWF)
Anonymously and confidentially report child sexual abuse content and non-photographic child sexual abuse images with IWF's Reporting Portal.

Malaysia lacks essential legislation against sexual harassment:

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