Saiful Nizam Ab Wahab, the father of a 17-year-old teen who exposed a teacher for allegedly making a rape joke to students, said his family was grateful for the support.
However, Saiful Nizam was not receptive to the idea of getting students to walk out of schools as a sign of protest.
He was responding to the Nationwide School Walkout Day (NWSD) Alliance which had called for students and teachers to walk out of classrooms next week to protest sexual harassments in schools.
Saiful Nizam’s daughter Ain Husniza had put a spotlight on how schools treat girls after she came forward about her teacher’s alleged inappropriate behaviour.
“Even though I agree with NSWD’s demands, but I do not think that a protest and a strike are the way to do it,” he said in a Facebook post.
Saiful Nizam was worried that the move could court negativity and encourage students to become rebellious.
“Students go to school for quality education and need to make use of their time, but not for protests and the likes.
“It would be unfair to ask students to take such action at this stage,” he said.
Saiful Nizam also apologised for having a different view from NWSD.
“Forgive me if my view on NSWD is foolish. I am open to any advice so that we can make a change together to ensure the best quality education for our children,” he said.
He also urged netizens not to attack Ain’s school, stating that there also teachers and students from the school who are supportive of Ain’s cause.
Saiful Nizam said the incident should not be used to spread more hate.
“We do not want to spread hatred, but we want a change. If you hurl profanities, then what different are you and the people you scold?” he said.
Saiful Nizam said efforts to create awareness that rape jokes are not okay should continue.
“Stop normalising rape culture in our society. Respect others, no matter who. Give them a chance to change,” he said. – Malaysiakini