Na­jib: We should not let such a crime hap­pen again

New Straits Times - - News | Govt And Policy -

“I was fu­ri­ous af­ter read­ing the news. My emo­tions boiled to learn that a child, who was sup­posed to be show­ered with love, was treated (abused to death) that way.”

Those were the words of Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak, who ex­pressed ab­hor­rence at vi­o­lence to­wards chil­dren, as he cited a case in which a 2-year-old boy died at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend in Sun­gai Pe­tani in Novem­ber last year.

Na­jib, who was ad­dress­ing an au­di­ence of 3,000 at the launch of the “Stop It!: Child Sex Crimes” sem­i­nar at the Pu­tra World Trade Cen­tre here yes­ter­day, said no child should suf­fer such a heinous crime.

“We should not let such a crime hap­pen again. It is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to stop it. I want to stress here that on be­half of the gov­ern­ment, we will not tol­er­ate sex­ual ex­ploita­tion of chil­dren. We will con­tinue with our ef­forts to stop this vi­o­lent crime.”

He cited an­other case, in which an 8-year-old girl was raped by her step­fa­ther. Na­jib said the girl was threat­ened with phys­i­cal abuse to not re­veal what hap­pened to oth­ers.

“The vic­tim should have been pro­tected. She was not only raped, but was also beaten and hurt other than be­ing threat­ened to keep the in­ci­dent a se­cret. How­ever, her school (teach­ers) re­alised her change in be­hav­iour and (upon in­ves­ti­ga­tion) alerted the au­thor­i­ties.

“As a civilised so­ci­ety, we can­not imag­ine how a fa­ther could com­mit such a heinous crime.”

Na­jib said the short- and longterm ef­fects of such crimes were trau­matic.

“In the short term, chil­dren will suf­fer from psy­cho­log­i­cal dam­age, dis­rup­tion in emo­tional de­vel­op­ment, de­pres­sion, a lack of ap­petite, sleep de­pri­va­tion, post­trau­matic stress dis­or­der and fear, as well as ef­fects to the gen­i­tals, sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease or preg­nancy.

“In the long term, the chil­dren will de­velop anti-so­cial be­hav­iour, stem­ming from the hor­ri­fy­ing in­ci­dent, which can lead to them be­ing venge­ful, suf­fer from sex­ual trauma and sex­ual ad­dic­tion apart from learn­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lems.”

Na­jib said one of the chal­lenges in erad­i­cat­ing such crimes was iden­ti­fy­ing pae­dophiles.

“We saw this in the case of Richard Huckle from the United King­dom, who was found guilty of com­mit­ting sex crimes against chil­dren in Malaysia. We are fac­ing a tough chal­lenge in iden­ti­fy­ing them (sex preda­tors), whom we con­sider wolves in sheep’s cloth­ing.”

Na­jib also warned par­tic­i­pants of the dan­gers of the “dark web”, which hosts web­sites re­lated to child pornog­ra­phy, es­pe­cially through peer-to-peer net­works.

“(The dark web) posed a dif­fi­culty to the au­thor­i­ties in de­tect­ing of­fend­ers. Some use so­cial me­dia for sex­ual groom­ing, where they gain the trust of chil­dren be­fore ma­nip­u­lat­ing them.”

Na­jib ad­vised par­ents to con­stantly mon­i­tor their chil­dren to pre­vent them from fall­ing prey to sex of­fend­ers.

“Firstly, we must find ways to con­nect with our chil­dren.

“Sec­ondly, we must ed­u­cate our chil­dren on (what is an) ‘ap­pro­pri­ate’ and ‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate’ touch.”

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