Ex-minister in M'sia pleads not guilty to molesting underage girl, Latest World News - The New Paper

Ex-minister in M'sia pleads not guilty to molesting underage girl

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Accused of physical sexual assault on girl, 15, he says it is all 'a misunderstanding'

KANGAR Former minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim yesterday pleaded not guilty to a charge of molesting an underage girl.

The former Perlis Umno chief was seen arriving at the Kangar Sessions Court at 8.20am. He was accompanied by his wife and two unidentified women.

Some 50 supporters greeted him upon arrival. Inside the courtroom, other supporters greeted him.

Shahidan was charged with physical sexual assault on a child.

The incident was alleged to have occurred at the open space of Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium in Kangar at about 11.30pm on Oct 20.

Sessions Court Judge Johari Hassan granted Shahidan bail of RM25,000 (S$8,260) with two sureties and allowed him to keep his passport.

He was represented by three lawyers - Ms Thalia Rohaina Abdul Latiff , Mr Syed Muhammad Anwar Syed Lokman Hakim and Mr Zuhair Ahmad Zakuan.

The case is up for mention again on Jan 8.

Shahidan has been in the news this month after a report alleging that he had molested a girl aged 15 years and 11 months went viral.

The girl is said to be from a busker group he sponsored.


Shahidan, however, denied the allegations and said it was all just a "misunderstanding".

He also said the police report lodged against him over the case had been withdrawn.

The father of the girl reportedly stated that the matter had been amicably "settled" and the family had decided that there was no need to "blow it out of proportion".

However, police said investigations must go on and any understanding reached between the victim's family and the politician was not related to the police.

Shahidan went to Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 30 and was grilled by investigators from 9am till about 4.30pm.

His statement was recorded by the Bukit Aman Sexual, Women and Child Investigations Division.

If convicted, Shahidan faces imprisonment of up to 10 years and whipping. He also risks losing his parliamentary seat.

Shahidan failed to turn up in court last week to face the charges, following which an arrest warrant was issued against him.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Najib Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor will most likely be hauled to court again - this time over a RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.

She is expected to face several charges together with her former aide Rizal Mansor.

A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission source said they would be charged this week.

But it is unclear what role Ms Rosmah played in the deal or what charges would be brought against her.

The solar hybrid project courted controversy when the Sarawak Report alleged in June that the contract was awarded to Bintulu-based company Jepak Holdings.

Jepak Holdings is a transportation services company supposedly on "direct" order of Najib.

Asked if Najib and former education minister Mahdzir Khalid would also face charges, the source said: "Not yet".