Sex-for-grades cases in Malaysia, Latest World News - The New Paper

Sex-for-grades cases in Malaysia

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PUTRAJAYAThere have been instances of teachers asking students for sex in exchange for good examination scores, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull said, warning that such cases are dangerous for the country's future generation.

He did not provide details on the sex-for-grades cases when speaking at a panel discussion organised by the MACC and the Education Ministry in Putrajaya.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik encouraged students whose teachers had asked them for sex in return for good grades to file police reports.

"Don't hide it. We cannot take action if we are not aware of it. We want to make sure schools are a safe and happy place for all children and teachers," Dr Maszlee said.

Unicef, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, said it is deeply disturbed by the revelations made by the MACC.

"Any sexual abuse against children is a serious violation of their rights," said Ms Marianne Clark-Hattingh, the Unicef representative to Malaysia.

"When it is perpetrated by teachers at school, it is also a breach of trust and abuse of power.

"Such behaviour discredits the education system."

Ms Clark-Hattingh underlined that teachers are supposed to be role models and to nurture a child's learning and development, not sexually abuse them.

"No child should be afraid of going to school."

She added that Unicef supports Dr Maszlee's stand as sexual abuse against children is a serious offence under the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017.

She said: "Sexual abuse survivors should receive immediate and adequate protection and support services.

"And students should be able to speak out without fear of repercussions or shame."

She added that United Nations agencies, civil society organisations and private companies have been working with the Ministry of Education to empower girls and boys with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves from sexual abuse.

"But obviously more needs to be done."

Mr Mohd Shukri also said there have been instances where students tried to "bribe" their schoolmates to win votes so they can be elected as class monitor or school prefect.

"If these corrupt acts have already occurred in schools, it will be worse when the students become adults and future leaders," he said.

"That is why we need to educate our children on corruption as young as possible."