A dentist has been detained at the Tawau Airport by police on 17 March 2017, following reports of sexual harassment lodged against him by five families.

Tawau police chief ACP Fadil Marsus said that the 26-year-old health professional was arrested for allegedly inappropriately touching at least five Form Four students at the dental clinic of a school in Jalan Kampung Jawa, Tawau, and is being probed under Section 354 of the Penal Code for assault, or use of criminal force on an individual with intent to outrage their modesty.

Victim allegedly molested during dental examination

According to the father of one of the victims, his youngest daughter returned home from school crying and revealed that the dentist had harassed her while examining her teeth in the school clinic. The 45-year-old parent immediately lodged a police report at the Tawau Police Station, and encouraged families of the other victims to do so as well.

“The dentist, believed to be attached to the dental clinic in Tawau General Hospital, palpated my daughter’s breast when he was checking her teeth at the school clinic alone,” the father claimed, adding that no school teachers were present when the alleged incident occurred.

“I have also contacted the dental department and was told the dentist concerned would be leaving for Kuala Lumpur yesterday afternoon,” the man said. “Surprised, I quickly contacted the Tawau police and they arrested the suspect at Tawau Airport at about 2.30pm yesterday.”

The father believed that there may be other victims of such incident since last year, not only in his daughter’s school, but in other schools as well.

“There could be many victims who may feel scared to lodge a police report against the suspect,” he said, urging for other victims to lodge a report in order to seek justice.

MOH conducting probe into healthcare professional

An internal investigation on the accused is being conducted by the Ministry of Health, with Health Director- General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah explaining that the probe is in accordance with the rules and discipline of civil servants.

"The ministry views this matter seriously, as it touches on the code of (the suspect’s) professional ethics as a dental practitioner and civil servant,” Noor Hisham said.

"As the case is still under police investigation, the public is advised not to make any speculation," he added, further expressing his hopes that such an incident will not affect the school dental service. MIMS

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