Ain Husniza, 17, hit with RM1 million defamation suit
Screenshot of Ain's video that made national headlines last April.
5 Aug 2021
By Ilona Andrew
KUALA LUMPUR: Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, a 17-year-old student who exposed her school teacher for allegedly making inappropriate jokes about rape during class, was yesterday slapped with a RM1 million suit by the "defamed" teacher.
In April, Ain called out the untoward incident via her TikTok video which garnered more than two million views at that time.
However, the form-five student has never revealed the teacher's name nor specifically mentioned her school in the video.
"Today, I suddenly received a letter of demand for 'defamatory statements'.
"In the letter, I was given seven days to respond to the demands, including to settle RM1,000,000 in damages," she said in her Twitter posting yesterday.
She also mentioned that she received the letter while she was having an online class.
The posting has been retweeted over 25,000 times with many offering comforts and moral support, including politicians Yeo Bee Yin, Fahmi Fadzil and Lim Yi Wei.
Based on Nabalu News' observation, there are over 130,000 tweets about the case mentioned on Twitter as of this morning.
"Fight on," said Yeo, while Fahmi suggested that Ain get a good lawyer and start a crowdfunding campaign to help her go through the calamity.
"This is not right. Where is the Education Ministry's voice in this? Solidarity with Ain!" said Lim.
A counsel who claims to be a member of the Gerakan Guaman Rakyat (Gegar) has also offered legal advice as seen under Ain's tweet.
"We the Gerakan Guaman Rakyat (Gegar) are willing to reply to the letter of demand as of. In the event they decide to file suit in court, we will act accordingly," said the lawyer.
Meanwhile, many users expressed that charging a literal minor such an amount for defamation is ludicrous and unacceptable.
One of them said: "RM1 million is crazy, but it's not about how much money, it's about the need to pay anything at all for speaking out.
"We need to encourage, not discourage - and this is not helping the kids be more vigilant."
Another tweet read: "Imagine suing a child who spoke up for her rights against people and a system that failed her. Imagine suing a child who spoke up for her rights. Imagine suing a child.
"Absolutely inhumane to sue a teenager RM1 million for speaking out about sexual harassment. How do you sleep soundly at night after doing this?" another tweet read.
"Ain who spoke about Sexual Harassment in School just got slapped with RM1,000,000 compensation. This act is going to silence many victims out there.
"This is disheartening. Where is our safer place? Welcome to embracing rape culture. This system is questionable by all means," another one read.
Since Ain made the revelation in April, thousands of fellow students have come forward to share similar experiences they encountered in school.
Ain's videos have also sparked a nationwide debate on sex education which led her to start an online campaign advocating against sexual harassment in school by using the #MakeSchoolASaferPlace hashtag.