The Attorney-General’s Chambers will be withdrawing the criminal defamation charge against a sexual harassment victim that was scheduled for today.
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas told The Malaysian Insight that the criminal defamation charge will be withdrawn.
Tashny Sukumaran was allegedly violated by dermatologist Dr Ruban Nathan during a consultation in his clinic in Bangsar last year.
Yesterday, she took to Twitter to announce that she was being charged for criminal defamation. Tashny’s own police report was closed, filed under No Further Action, as the police could not find more evidence.
Things seem brighter today as Tashy confirmed the online report.
16/ OKAY GUYS OKAY OKAY OKAY. Inspector just called and said NO NEED TO GO TO COURT. But I am still organising that Milo party – let us meet soon. Will keep y’all posted.
— Tashny Sukumaran (@tashny) January 14, 2020
Twitter has been abuzz this morning with well wishes and messages or support pouring in for Tashny. Many have also questioned the validity of Criminal Defamation in the Malaysian Penal Code.
Also criminal defamation needs to be relegated to the history books, not used against complainants of sexual harassment. This law needs to be scrapped at once
— Michelle Yesudas (@chelle_yesudas) January 14, 2020
Good news for @tashny. But this is unlikely to be the last time that criminal defamation laws are abused to silence critics in Malaysia. https://t.co/xHc9TZryM2
— Aaron Connelly (@ConnellyAL) January 14, 2020
Despite this welcome development, two questions still remain. What happens to future victims of sexual harassment, do they not bother reporting if there is a lack of physical evidence? Will there be steps in motion to repeal the criminal defamation laws?
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