Mara chairman: Convicted child porn student needs rehabilitation, not condemnation

Mara chairman: Convicted child porn student needs rehabilitation, not condemnation

PETALING JAYA - Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) is not backing down from its decision to allow a Malaysian scholar convicted for possessing extreme child pornographic material in England to continue his studies locally, saying that he needs rehabilitation instead of condemnation.

Despite heavy backlash from Malaysians, Mara chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa (above) said Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin should be allowed to undergo rehabilitation and be given the chance to complete his studies here.

"Personally, I believe this young man needs to undergo rehabilitation and continue his studies," he said in a post on his Facebook page.

" Regardless of whether his studies are sponsored or not - that's a different matter - helping problematic citizens is our responsibility," he said.

Annuar, who is also Ketereh MP, said that Nur Fitri was already serving his sentence and could face deportation before he completed his studies.

"Does this mean we have to keep punishing him? There are a lot more serious offenders such as drug addicts who failed to be rehabilitated due to our harsh attitude towards them," he said.

He added that Nur Fitri, who was convicted for possessing more than 30,000 images and videos of "extreme" child pornography, was related to a psychiatric disorder and needed to be supported.

However, he was quick to add that Mara had yet to decide on Nur Fitri's fate after he had served his jail sentence.

"He needs support and medical attention, not condemnation. So far, Mara has yet to decide on his fate.

"As of now, he is considered a sponsored Mara student and we are still assisting him in terms of humanitarian and civil perspectives," said Annuar.

"I hope certain quarters, including leaders who appeared to be making hasty remarks, should be more mindful and sensitive. There is a limit to condemnation and merely condemning does not benefit anybody," he said.

Earlier, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin cautioned Mara against continuing its sponsorship of the 23-year-old Mathematics scholar.

Annuar said people should be more forgiving as youngsters are bound to make mistakes.

"Even Allah is forgiving. Helping him does not mean we agree with what he did. He has a future ahead of him and we need to help him, not to pile on condemnation," he said.

Nur Fitri, an Imperial College London scholar, was busted last November in his bedroom in Queensborough Terrace where police found him on his laptop, sitting next to a life-sized mannequin of a boy.

He had 601 videos and images belonging to category A (abuse involving penetrative sexual activity with children), and thousands of category B and C material.

He is currently serving a five-year-jail term in England.

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