Three years after molest case, Shahidan Kassim appointed to special women’s and children’s committee

Shahidan Kassim poses for the camera in July 2020. Photo: Shahidan Kassim/Facebook
Shahidan Kassim poses for the camera in July 2020. Photo: Shahidan Kassim/Facebook

A parliamentarian who was three years ago accused of molesting a teenage girl has been appointed to Malaysia’s Women’s and Children’s Committee, drawing widespread disapproval online. 

Arau MP Shahidan Kassim, 70, was among seven individuals appointed to the committee by the government, according to today’s announcement by Deputy Parliament speaker Azalina Othman Said. Shahidan, who was in 2019 discharged from the sexual assault case not amounting to an acquittal, will be among those tasked to look into the social development of women and children in the country.

“Congratulations Azalina, you’ve included a child predator in the committee. I hope the children of Malaysia will be safe,” Twitter user @Tijanishere, who was among those who criticized the panel, said. 

Shahidan had pleaded not guilty to molesting a 15-year-old girl in his car near the Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium in Perlis in October 2018. Legal proceedings against him halted after the accuser refused to be further questioned by the authorities and declined to testify in court. Her father later claimed that the matter was “resolved amicably.”

Others appointed to the committee were Azalina herself, along with People’s Justice Party’s Fuziah Salleh, and Nik Muhammad Zawawi from the Islamic party PAS. 

“Guys, let’s pressed this committee to get rid of Shahidan Kassim!!,” @Aswaliaaa wrote on Twitter.

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