PETALING JAYA: The principal of a religious school in Kepong, a town in northern Kuala Lumpur, has been charged with sodomising nine students from the school.
A report by The Star on Sunday (Sep 23) said the man was slapped with 11 charges in the Putrajaya Sessions Court on Sep 19.
According to the Bernama news agency, a teacher from the religious school made a police report on Sep 13 and the 30-year-old principal was nabbed the day after.
Kuala Lumpur deputy police chief Zainuddin Yaacob said the principal is accused of having molested and sodomised the students, who were aged between 11 and 16.
Zainuddin urged members of the public to lodge a police report should they have any information on the case.
"Public cooperation is vital in ensuring the well-being and security of the people and the country," he said.
If found guilty, the principal faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ jail and whipping.
Police sources said all nine students were taken to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for further examinations after they had their statements recorded.
All the affected students have since been taken home by their families.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa said on Sunday that the government would close down the religious school if the principal is found guilty.
He added that stern action should be taken because acts such as sodomy and molestation would not only tarnish the reputation of the institution but would also give Islam a bad image.
"Do not hide behind the good name of tahfiz institutions (religious schools) to commit acts prohibited by the religion. Indulging in such heinous acts will give the religion a bad name and people will lose faith in the institution.
"Action should be taken against the individual involved and the school should be given a warning, but if the principal himself is involved we will have to close down the centre," he said.
He added that he would look into the case and that as long as the case was ongoing, the suspect would likely not be allowed to return to teach at the centre even if he was granted bail.