A veteran television journalist has lodged a police report over death threats he received following a segment he produced on a Kuala Terengganu-area tahfiz (religious) school that was allegedly failing to provide its students with basic necessities.
Mohd Ishak Abdillah Ngah’s news report, broadcast on Malaysia’s most widely-watched news network, TV3, accused the school of lacking basic amenities including electricity and water for their primary students in the town of Wakaf Mempelam.
Speaking to national newswire Bernama, Mohd Ishak said that the threats originated on Facebook in relation to a post about the story, but have since escalated to real-world confrontations.
“I was criticized with harsh words and murder threats. Besides that, some people even posted abusive comments that they wanted to smack my face as well as to destroy property,” he told reporters at the Kuala Terengganu district police headquarters.
“At 5:15pm on Jan. 1, I was approached by a man who was dissatisfied with the news reports and claimed that he was the Kawasan Cabang Tiga [area] leader.”
He added that his decision to file the police report was made in order to ensure the safety of himself and his family.
Facebook user Nurul Hana Mamat posted to her social media account, claiming to be a parent of one of the students, and stated that while amenities were lacking at the school, she had been informed of the situation. She added that only one parents complained, sparking the report from TV3.
Following the reports of young students paying to study in amenity-less facilities, Terengganu state’s chief minister, Dr. Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, maintained that the school — identified as Sekolah Rendah Islam Darul Iman (SRIDI) Wakaf Mempelam — had indeed experienced a cut in electricity and water, but they had since been restored.
No explanation was offered as to why the students had been studying under the adverse conditions.