Fatimah to sexual perpetrators: ‘The law will get you’

Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah (file photo)

KUCHING, Oct 21: “The long arm of the law will get you,” Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Dato Sri Abdullah Fatimah warned sexual perpetrators.

Fatimah said this while commenting on the case involving a counselling teacher who was sentenced to 90 years’ imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane for sexually assaulting six male students in 2018.

“It has been a physically and psychologically long and hard road to justice for the young victims, and their families too. 

“Justice has prevailed. These young victims would not have received justice had it not been for the victims’ and their families’ determination to seek justice and to bring the perpetrator to court. 

“The verdict in these cases sends a clear message to the perpetrator: the long arm of the law will get you,” said Fatimah in a statement today.

She also expressed appreciation to the Prosecution and the Sessions Court for giving priority to these cases, given the difficult and limiting conditions that they had to work under due to the Movement Control Order to allow these victims to move on with their lives either to continue their studies or find employment outside of Kuching.

The Sessions Court here today has sentenced a counselling teacher of a science college in Jalan Sultan Tengah to 90 years’ imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane for sexually assaulting his male students in 2018.

Shahbudin Beddu, 32, from Sabah, was charged with six charges under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children 2017 and punishable under Section 14 of the same act and to be read together with Section 16 of the same act for physically sexually assaulting 17 of the college’s male students at the college’s hostel, teacher’s quarters and male dorm, between January and May 2018.

According to the judge, one of the excuses used by the accused was that he was not at the scene as alleged by the victims. However, he had no alibi to show to the court to prove the defence.

Shahbudin was subsequently sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment and four strokes of the cane for each charge, with the imprisonment term to run consecutively.

According to the brief facts of the case, the accused, who was the counselling teacher of the school, had gained the trust of the victims but had then sexually harassed them in various ways, such as kissing them and touching their private parts. — DayakDaily