PM: NEW BILL ON SEX CRIMES AGAINST CHIL­DREN TO BE TABLED SOON

Na­jib urges all law­mak­ers to sup­port bill

New Straits Times - - Front Page - SYED UMAR AR­IFF news@nst.com.my

ANEW bill aimed at tack­ling sex crimes against chil­dren will be tabled in the par­lia­men­tary ses­sion soon, Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak said.

He said the Child Sex­ual Of­fences Bill 2017 was mooted af­ter an ex­ten­sive study by a spe­cial gov­ern­ment task force, headed by Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment Datuk Seri Aza­lina Oth­man Said.

Formed in Au­gust last year, the team com­prised rep­re­sen­ta­tives from min­istries, gov­ern­ment agen­cies and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions to look into is­sues re­lat­ing to sex crimes. Pa­pers on the bill would be pre­sented to the cab­i­net be­fore a tabling at the De­wan Rakyat.

“As a re­spon­si­ble gov­ern­ment, it is only right that we come up with a law specif­i­cally to deal with sex crimes against chil­dren ef­fec­tively, com­pre­hen­sively and holis­ti­cally.

“Hence, a new law cov­er­ing sex crimes against chil­dren that are not cov­ered in present laws, such as child groom­ing and child pornog­ra­phy, will be tabled at the on­go­ing par­lia­men­tary ses­sion to be made into law,” Na­jib said at the launch of the “Stop It!: Child Sex Crimes” sem­i­nar yes­ter­day.

Na­jib also called on law­mak­ers from both sides of the po­lit­i­cal di­vide to unan­i­mously sup­port the bill and pass it into law.

“It should be our col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity, re­gard­less of po­lit­i­cal ide­olo­gies. Such laws should not be op­posed by any po­lit­i­cal party.

“This is for our chil­dren’s fu­ture.”

Na­jib cited sta­tis­tics by the Wel­fare De­part­ment, which recorded 5,779 sex­ual abuse cases against chil­dren from 2010 to 2015, with an av­er­age of 963 cases an­nu­ally.

“In the pe­riod be­tween 2015 and 2016 alone, the po­lice recorded 2,759 rape cases, in­cest (412), out­rag­ing mod­esty (1,423) and un­nat­u­ral sex (422). All of them in­volved vic­tims un­der 18.

“Such cases should not have hap­pened. We should not let chil­dren re­main as vic­tims and be ex­ploited by such preda­tors.”

Na­jib also an­nounced a pro­posal to es­tab­lish a spe­cial court to pre­side over cases re­lat­ing to sex crimes against chil­dren ex­pe­di­ently and ef­fi­ciently.

“This is so that jus­tice is not only seen to be done, but is done swiftly. It is the wish of the gov­ern­ment to stamp out such heinous crimes.”

He also urged re­li­gious ex­perts to con­tinue re­mind­ing the peo­ple of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to pro­tect chil­dren un­der their care.

“We must re­mem­ber that chil­dren are God’s gift to us. I call upon our ulama to con­tinue re­mind­ing the peo­ple of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, and our obli­ga­tion to­wards the re­li­gion.

“I be­lieve that if we con­tinue to stress such mat­ters in fo­rums and ser­mons, there will be greater aware­ness among the peo­ple.”

Ear­lier, Na­jib’s wife, Datin Seri Ros­mah Man­sor, who is the pa­tron of the sem­i­nar, said sex crimes were on the in­crease, with 12,025 cases recorded since Oc­to­ber last year.

“How­ever, that num­ber is just a frac­tion of a larger fig­ure. Many did not come for­ward to lodge re­ports due to taboo or fear of tar­nish­ing their fam­ily’s im­age.”

Present at the two-day sem­i­nar were for­mer In­done­sian pres­i­dent Me­gawati Soekarnop­u­tri, who was ac­com­pa­nied by In­done­sian Co­or­di­nat­ing Min­is­ter for Hu­man De­vel­op­ment and Cul­ture Puan Ma­ha­rani and In­done­sian Health Min­is­ter Nila Djuwita An­fasa Moeloek.

Oth­ers in­clude Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi and Women, Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ro­hani Ab­dul Karim.

NAFIS PIC BY SAIRIEN

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak and other at­ten­dees stand­ing to at­ten­tion at the singing of the na­tional an­them, at the launch of a sem­i­nar in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day. With him are his wife Datin Seri Ros­mah Man­sor, (from left) Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi, for­mer In­done­sian pres­i­dent Me­gawati Soekarnop­u­tri, Women, Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ro­hani Ab­dul Karim and Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment Datuk Seri Aza­lina Oth­man Said.

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