Ex-teacher’s appeal over outraging modesty of student dismissed

PUTRAJAYA: A former English language teacher today began his 12-month jail term after the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against his conviction for outraging the modesty of a pupil six years ago.

A three-member bench chaired by Yaacob Md Sam upheld the conviction of Abdul Majid Ahmad by the trial judge, saying it was safe and need not be disturbed.

“Having gone through the appeal records and after hearing submissions from counsel, there is no reason for the appellate court’s intervention,” said Yaacob, who sat with P Ravinthran and Ahmad Nafsy Yasin.

Majid, 56, was also charged with a similar offence against another pupil but had been acquitted previously.

He had committed the offence on the girl, who was 12-years old at the time, in a primary school at a Felda settlement in Bera district, Pahang, on April 12, 2014.

The facts of the case revealed that he touched the girl’s thigh and progressed to her private parts, and then he fondled her breasts, while they were in a classroom.

Deputy public prosecutor Wong Poi Yoke submitted that the victim’s evidence was corroborated with the testimony of another girl who was seated beside her at the time of the incident, which took place during an extra class lesson.

“She is a credible witness and this court must accept her testimony,” Wong said.

Lawyer Mohd Hissham Ramjan, who appeared for Majid, said his client only tapped the girl’s thigh and had done nothing beyond that.

Meanwhile, the same bench also dismissed another appeal by a retired Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) labourer for a similar offence on a 12-year old girl.

Yaacob said there was no merit in the appeal of Md Ramli Md Nurdin.

The accused committed the offence at a government quarters in Taiping on June 14, 2015 by tapping the girl’s shoulder.

The Magistrate’s Court found Ramli guilty of the offence and sentenced him to 12 months’ jail and fined him RM3,500.

On appeal, the High Court upheld the conviction in June 2018 but cancelled the fine.

Ramli, 72, went on to serve the jail sentence and had since been released.

Lawyer Kathan Maruthamuthu submitted that his client’s action, which was in the presence of the girl’s father, was only intended to tell her to study hard.

“Merely tapping her shoulder should not be seen as tantamount to outraging her modesty,” she said.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Zain Ibrahim argued that the trial judge had made a finding of fact and an appellate court should be cautious when intervene.