MPs undivided in their support
KUALA LUMPUR: In a rare display of unity, members of parliament (MPs) from both sides of the political divide yesterday expressed support for the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017 after it was tabled by Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
They agreed that MPs who did not support the bill were either perverts, or had lost their humanity.
In a press conference at the Parliament’s media centre, Azalina issued a stern warning to perpetrators, saying they could run but could not hide.
Azalina, who is also Pengerang MP, said the bill was tabled for its first reading yesterday with lawmakers supporting it.
“We will be briefing Barisan Nasional MPs on Wednesday (tomorrow) and opposition MPs on Thursday.
“I believe we are open to further suggestions. Maybe some MPs may think that the punishments are inadequate. Maybe, they would like to suggest further punishments and I believe we should be open for debate.”
More than 20 MPs from both sides were present during the conference, including Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Nurul Izzah said MPs who did not support the bill had lost their humanity.
Rohani, when commenting on the act, stressed on the importance of the bill as the key provisions in it were not covered in the Child Act 2001.
“The Child Act protects children but perpetrators always escape. That is why this time, we are covering all aspects extensively, especially those on offenders.”
Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (centre) at a press conference at Parliament’s media centre in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. With her are members of parliament from Barisan Nasional and the opposition.