MPs un­di­vided in their sup­port

New Straits Times - - News -

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.”

RAZALI PIC BY YAZIT

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.

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