Umno’s Shahidan admits he is MP at centre of sex harassment probe and warns of taking legal action against those who spread sexual assault allegations.
- Claims he met girl in his car because he couldn’t walk
- Says unfair for media to publicise molest report after retraction
- Alleges he thought of the girl as his own child or grandchild
For the first time since news of a teenager’s sexual assault allegation against a former minister surfaced on Monday, Umno lawmaker Shahidan Kassim has gone public over the matter.
The Arau MP claimed the incident was a “misunderstanding” and both sides have apologised.
“I am sure all sides understand the matter and will not prolong it. We leave it up to the police,” he told a press conference in Parliament.
Shahidan noted that the police report against him had been retracted but expected investigations to continue.
The former minister admitted that he was with the 15-year-old girl in a car but claimed that he could only meet with the teenager under such circumstances due to his health, which did not allow him to alight from his vehicle.
“As an MP, I give encouragement to all children to only be involved in activities that are halal. So if there are buskers, musicians, I help all of them – it is normal.
“Even if there are any organising of feasts, I would help out. So that is my intention. I see them as my children and grandchildren.
“The issue of wanting anything more than that does not arise. Besides, I’m not able to walk,” said the 67-year-old lawmaker.
Shahidan, who was using a cane, suffered a minor stroke in June.
The Umno federal lawmaker, who was also formerly Perlis mentri besar, insisted that he would never behave in such a manner even as he berated the media for blowing the incident that he described as a “misunderstanding” out of proportion.
“How did this become viral when the report has been retracted? That bothers me as to which party made the issue public,” he told reporters in Parliament, accompanied by his lawyer Thalia Rohaina Abdul Latiff.
“I thought reporters would be more professional, but the one who spread the news was a reporter.
“If reporters want to contact me, to investigate the matter, I welcome them. The story was spread on social media, and after that, I was made to answer,” he added.
Shahidan said he had cooperated with the ongoing police investigation and hoped the matter could be resolved soon.
“I hope the media will not prolong it because that will damage the reputation of the girl who has a future ahead of her and must be protected,” he said.
The former minister also warned that he would take legal action against quarters who continue to circulate the sexual assault allegation.
“I will talk to my lawyer about taking legal action, surely I cannot remain quiet.
“The police report has been retracted but the media is reopening the matter. It is a victimisation of my family, let the police investigate,” he said.
Yesterday, Shahidan was questioned by police for seven hours over the matter.
He said he was compelled to give his side of the story after the news spread.
He admitted to being in Perlis at the time of the alleged incident, but clarified that he had asked to meet the girl and her entire family in his Toyota Harrier after watching the street performance as he wanted to give them some money.
“I was shocked to be informed the next day that a police report was made by the family, but I take no offence with that because we have settled the matter amicably.
“I thought of the girl as my own child or grandchild…these buskers are working part-time, I wanted to help them secure more gigs. I said I would help them,” Shahidan said.
He denied claims that he paid off the girl’s family to retract the report, saying he was unaware they had filed a police complaint until they told him about it later.
Asked whether they were in the car alone, he said he has given his statement to the police and will leave it to the authorities to investigate.
Shahidan also claimed the sexual harassment allegation was an attempt to sabotage his political career, but said he will triumph over such obstacles.
Perlis police chief Noor Mushar Mohd said yesterday that despite the retracted complaint, the case is still being investigated under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017.
The victim from Arau, Perlis, had written in her police report that she was told by her teacher that the former minister had wanted to see her after he saw her perform with a band at Stadium Tuanku Syed Putra.
The student is a singer with a busking group called ‘Kumpulan Busker DSSK’. DSSK stands for Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
Yesterday, Noor Mushar revealed that Shahidan had asked the teen to meet him in his car to “have a chat”.
He also said the MP and the girl were alone in the car.
The unnamed girl claimed that the former minister had offered to pay her RM4,000 to play a gig in Kuala Lumpur, while holding her hand and caressing her shoulder.
She claimed that she brushed his hand away and left the vehicle immediately in tears.
The matter surfaced after the girl lodged a police report, which the teenager’s family subsequently retracted.