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Monday, November 29, 2021

Indecent exposure: MIC lodges counter-report against woman activist


The Sungai Siput MIC Youth wing today lodged a police report to counter an earlier report by a woman activist, who alleged that she was sexually harassed by a member of the political party.

Its deputy chief M Chandra Segaran lodged the report at the Sungai Siput Utara police station today, several days after the woman had lodged her report regarding the alleged indecent exposure.

In the counter-report, Chandra Segaran claimed that the woman, who is the secretary of an NGO, had intentionally provoked MIC members who went to visit Taman Muhibbah Jaya in Sungai Siput which recently faced drainage issues.

"I hereby strongly refute the woman's allegation that I had committed indecent exposure. On the contrary, she was the one who provoked us by calling MIC members as 'pondan' (transgender).

"I call the police to conduct a thorough investigation on the incident," he said in the police report.

Chandra Segaran also claimed that it was the activist who provoked MIC members, which he said had led to a verbal altercation between them and members of the NGO.

Yesterday, Sungai Siput district police chief Mohd Khaizam Ahmad Shahabudin confirmed that the authority has opened an investigation into the alleged sexual harassment incident by an MIC member.

The woman claimed that a MIC member had uttered vulgar words against her before opening his pants' zipper during the altercation.

It was learned that the incident occurred on Nov 25 when MIC members and the NGO were visiting the housing area at the same time.

The woman claimed that MIC members who were gathering at the area had prevented her NGO members and officers from the Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council from visiting by throwing profanities and saw one of them opening his zipper in front of her.

Sungai Siput MIC chairperson K Manimaran yesterday claimed that the NGO tried to meddle in the issue when the party was working on a solution for the drainage problems there.

MIC urged to take action

Meanwhile, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy urged MIC to take action against its members over the alleged incident.

"The allegation of indecent behaviour of a MIC member or members towards an NGO woman in Sungai Siput must be condemned to the fullest.

"There is no excuse for such behaviour, especially towards a woman activist," he said on Facebook today.

Ramasamy also urged the police to investigate the case.

"Anyway, whether the allegation is true or not has to be determined by the police.

"I understand the police have investigated the incident and have referred the matter for a decision from the higher authority," he added.

'Do not tolerate sexual harassment

MIC Women chief Mohana Muniandy in a statement also called for the party not to tolerate any form of sexual harassment.

However, she also stressed that the NGO activist's claim should be proven first.

"I have personally gone to Sungai Siput to gain more information regarding this matter due to the sensitivity of the allegation. We hope the police will take this matter seriously, investigate thoroughly with caution and respect due to the involvement of a respected political party.

"MIC has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and assault, as well as any other unwelcome physical contact, violence or threats of physical violence among women.

"Nevertheless, every allegation related to MIC should be taken seriously especially when it is about sexual harassment. False allegations just to smear the party's name will not be tolerated," she said. - Mkini

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