Malaysian teenager Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam came home from school last week and posted a video on TikTok, taking a male teacher to task over an alleged joke about rape during class.
The video went viral overnight, sparking a nationwide debate on sex education, misogyny and sexual violence in the Southeast Asian nation, where such subjects are often considered taboo.
“There’s been numerous students who have been coming forward with their own stories to me ... but people didn’t take any action on what the students had to say, and for me, that is very, very sad,” Ain said.
The 17-year-old, who loves drawing and watching Japanese anime, said that she had always been outspoken about social issues, but had not expected the “overwhelming” response to the video, which has been viewed more than 1.4 million times.
The debate prompted her to create the hashtag #MakeSchoolASaferPlace, which she hopes will encourage other teenagers to come forward about problems they face at school, including other issues such as racism.
“Our movement focuses on making school a safer environment for every student, no matter what gender you are, either girls or boys,” Ain said.
The hashtag began trending as Ain explored the backlash she received from some students and teachers, who accused her of drawing negative attention to her school.
She also received a rape threat from a fellow student, as well as lewd remarks about her appearance from some social media users.
Ain’s parents said that they were initially unsure of how to respond, but decided to report the teacher’s remarks and the rape threat to the police.
“If we act like it’s normal, or keep brushing off such remarks as mere ‘jokes’ ... my younger children will probably go through this, too, with the same teacher,” said Ain’s mother, Norshaniza Sharifudin, who has five children.
Police have vowed to investigate Ain’s complaint, while the Malaysian Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development on Thursday called for stronger action over rape jokes, sexist remarks and body-shaming.
The Malaysian Ministry of Education on Wednesday said that it would investigate.
Cheryl Fernando of education advocacy group Pemimpin GSL said students such as Ain represent a new generation who were not afraid to use social media to speak up.
“It’s very important for the teachers and the leaders then to know how to deal with these students,” Fernando said. “This is a generation that has too much access to technology and to any social media that they want, and this can reach worldwide.”
‘RISK OF DISRUPTION’: Ho Chi Minh City asked officials in Dong Nai Province to make its virus-control plan more favorable for workers and the transportation of goods Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Saturday called on local governments to ease overly strict pandemic prevention measures that affect production and business activity, and prevent the nation from achieving its dual goals of fighting the virus and developing the economy. Vietnam is battling its worst COVID-19 outbreak, with about 5,500 cases reported in 39 of 63 provinces and cities since April last year. Several centers, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, have put social distancing measures in place to curtail the virus, while others have imposed controls on returnees from affected areas, Chinh said in a statement. “Some locations,
Chinese authorities have marshalled extraordinary resources to monitor a herd of traveling elephants and to keep it away from residential areas. Media reports quoted the Yunnan Forest Fire Brigade as saying that a team of eight people have been tracking the elephants, around the clock, on the ground and by drone. In the latest update, authorities said that the herd of wild Asian elephants had been tracked to a forest just outside a village in Xiyang Township, in Yunnan Province, about 90km southwest of the city of Kunming, heading back in the direction they came from. Drone images showed the elephants lying down
Tall, thin and brightly colored, Hanoi’s “tube houses” dominate the city’s streets as 9 million people compete for space in Vietnam’s bustling capital. Although Vietnam saw a number of villas and garden houses built during the French colonial period, Hanoi has few of these grand residential homes. Instead, tree-lined streets are packed with dwellings that are barely 4m wide, but are three times that in depth. Typically, a tube house might be home to a family of four, but two or three generations of relatives sometimes have to jostle for space. The first tube houses — known as nha ong in Vietnamese — are
The head of the Philippine military on Monday visited a coral-fringed island his country occupies in the South China Sea, a move that could stoke already heightened tensions between Manila and Beijing in disputed waters claimed by both countries. During the visit, Philippine Armed Forces Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana commended service members for the role they played in protecting the island’s residents and “guarding the country’s territories” in the strategic waterway. The visit comes after diplomatic protests made by the Philippines in the past few months over what it says is the illegal presence of hundreds of “Chinese maritime militia” vessels inside