Bukit Aman denies deputy IGP trivialised student’s alleged rape threats, claims news sites ran ‘misleading’ headlines
Deputy IGP Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah had made the disputed comments during the press conference yesterday when he confirmed the student made a second report over the alleged rape threat she had received. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) accused two news outlets today of publishing misleading headlines when reporting Deputy Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah’s remarks on an alleged rape threat a student received from a classmate.

Bukit Aman’s IGP Secretariat issued a statement alleging that Malaysiakini and China Press used confusing headlines and failed to provide the full context of Acryl’s comments when he addressed the topic at a press conference in Shah Alam yesterday.

“The report headline which only referred to a portion of the response which was then portrayed as the essence of the statement is an irresponsible action which can cause public outrage, tarnish the credibility of police investigations, while resulting in negative speculation towards the victim in this case,” said Communications Superintendent, Supt A. Skandaguru in a statement this afternoon.

The case in question concerns two police reports lodged by a 17-year old student, the initial one aimed at calling out a teacher who allegedly made jokes about rape, and the second over an apparent rape threat she received from one of her classmates.

The student, Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, gained attention after a social media post she shared related how the male teacher had supposedly made a rape joke during school lessons in the presence of both male and female students, with her exposé later triggering the alleged threats.

Acryl had made the disputed comments during the press conference yesterday when he confirmed the student made a second report over the alleged rape threat she had received.

Skandaguru today stressed that no element of the case has ever been considered a joke by PDRM, which he said took all reports seriously and was committed to thoroughly investigate the case.

“Accountability from the media in reporting such cases is essential to avoid wrong perceptions being formed among society even before investigations has completed,” he wrote.

Skandaguru’s statement also pointedly included the implicated headlines used in the reports, with Malaysiakini’s reading as, “Deputy IGP describes rape threat against teen as ‘maybe a joke’”, and China Press’ heading as “Pelajar wanita dihina diugut rogol, Acryl Sani: Rakan sekelas mungkin bergurau (Female student insulted, received rape threats, Acryl Sani: Classmate was maybe joking)”.

The statement today included a transcript of Acryl’s full comments.

“Up to this point I have been told, the student concerned has made two police reports. The first, she made a report concerning what she felt, the teacher’s approach, as improper.

“Yesterday night, she made an additional report, concerning what could perhaps be a joke/prank from a classmate which she could not accept,” Acryl said in the provided transcript.

Since Acryl’s comments, two female MPs have come out to condemn his comments, accusing him of brushing off rape threats as a joke, and even saying his comments also appeared to sanction violence against women.