New Straits Times - - Opinion -

for their elders when they be­come weak and help­less, and to bring cruel per­pe­tra­tors to book.

The age used to de­fine se­nior citizens or the el­derly has dif­fered among re­searchers and writ­ers.

The United Na­tions World Assem­bly on Age­ing, held in Vienna in 1982, used “60 years and over” as the cut-off age in de­lib­er­at­ing age­ing trends.

Malaysian pol­icy mak­ers have adopted this de­mar­ca­tion and it is used in plan­ning for se­nior citizens. There­fore, this def­i­ni­tion should be adopted to de­fine the el­derly in Malaysia.

Sex­ual crimes against the el­derly is de­fined as any un­wanted sex­ual con­duct against a per­son over 60.

The crime may be caused by trick­ing, ma­nip­u­lat­ing or co­erc­ing the el­derly per­son into un­de­sired sex­ual con­tact. This in­cludes sex­ual con­tact with an el­derly per­son who is un­able to com­mu­ni­cate con­sent or dis­ap­proval.

The Na­tional Cen­tre on El­der Sex­ual Abuse in the United States cat­e­gorises el­derly sex­ual crime as fol­lows: “El­derly sex­ual crime is the act of mak­ing of any type of sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with the el­derly with­out their con­sent.

“If the el­derly vic­tim is liv­ing with the abuser, it would be hard to de­tect and help the vic­tim.”

The sta­tis­tics of el­derly sex­ual crime in Malaysia is dif­fi­cult to ob­tain.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s re­port on Na­tional Re­port on Vi­o­lence and Health Malaysia 2006 states that there is no record of the oc­cur­rence of el­derly sex­ual crime in Malaysia.

There is also no in­for­ma­tion on fac­tors re­lat­ing to el­derly sex­ual crime and the im­pact of the crime in Malaysia.

There is a need to en­act a spe­cific sec­tion or Act, such as the Sex­ual Of­fences Against Chil­dren 2017 to crim­i­nalise this in­hu­man and un­nat­u­ral con­duct against el­derly women.

Then only will the se­ri­ous­ness of this crime be ac­knowl­edged by so­ci­ety.

In Canada, there are four types of law to pro­tect the el­derly from sex­ual crime. teach­ers were to­wards my lessthan-or­tho­dox at­ti­tude.

Due to their en­cour­age­ment, I did not make too many mis­takes dur­ing my learn­ing years.

My heart­felt thanks to my teach­ers who pro­vided me with the step­ping stones for my life.

They are fam­ily vi­o­lence laws, crim­i­nal law, adult pro­tec­tion laws and adult guardian­ship laws.

Que­bec has a spe­cial pro­vi­sion in its pro­vin­cial hu­man rights leg­is­la­tion that can be used as an­other way to deal with sex­ual crimes against el­derly women.

Ed­u­cat­ing the public about sex­ual crimes against the el­derly may raise aware­ness and make so­ci­ety un­der­stand its na­ture and con­se­quences.

At least the public will know how to iden­tify the mat­ter and re­port it to the au­thor­i­ties.

We need to be aware of the many faces of el­derly sex­ual crimes.

Ed­u­cat­ing the public is im­por­tant, although it is not an ab­so­lute so­lu­tion to curb the prob­lem, but it’s a start.

We still need to en­act a sec­tion or act, per­haps a Sex­ual Of­fences Against El­derly Women, to crim­i­nalise the of­fence.


In­ter­na­tional Is­lamic Univer­sity Malaysia

To those whose lives I made a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult, do ac­cept my apol­ogy for my less than hum­ble at­ti­tude.

Happy Teach­ers Day.

NG SHU TSUNG Kuala Lumpur

He­len Keller (left) at­trib­uted her suc­cess to her teacher, Anne Sul­li­van, who taught her lan­guage and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

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