Report information on child abuse or face imprisonment, says deputy minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Three groups of individuals with information on child abuse are reminded to report it to the authorities or face imprisonment and fines if they fail to do so, said Deputy Women, Family and Development Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.

Azizah said the obligation was contained under the Child Act 2001 involving individuals comprising registered medical officers, family members and child minders.

She said under Section 27, 28 and 29 of the amended act, a registered medical practitioner or medical officer, any family members and child minder on reasonable grounds that the child has been physically or emotionally abused as a result of being tortured, neglected, abandoned, exposed or sexually abused must immediately notify the relevant parties.

“If they fail to report, they are liable to be convicted of imprisonment or fine (fine not exceeding RM5,000 or jail not exceeding two years or both),” she said during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat sitting here today. Read more

Release all minors detained without trial immediately ― Suaram

Source: The Malay Mail Online

NOVEMBER 7 ― Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is shocked by the revelation in Parliament that 142 minors were detained without trial under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) and 17 minors under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma). Suaram strongly condemns the existence and application of laws that permit detention without trial and demand for the immediate release of all minors detained under Sosma and Poca.

Reflecting on the gruesome allegations of torture and abuse suffered by detainees under Sosma and Poca; and the systematic use of solitary confinement for detainees under Sosma, Suaram is shocked that the Malaysian government consider it necessary for minors to be subjected to detention in these conditions under Sosma and Poca.

The government must provide an immediate answer to the public with regards to the condition of detention these minors are subjected to and provide clear answers as to why it was necessary for these minors to be detained under security provisions and not subjected to trial in the Court for Children outlined in Section 83(1) of the Child Act 2001. Read more

Child sexual cases not classified, says minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The media may not report about such cases as Section 15 of the Child Act 2001 prohibits the identification of the child victims. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Child sexual crime cases are not protected under the Official Secrets Act, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

However, she said the media may not report about such cases as Section 15 of the Child Act 2001 prohibits the identification of the child victims.

“I cannot answer this as it is not within my jurisdiction but I will inform other relevant ministries. (However), under the courts, no such case has been protected under OSA except for those that fall under Section 15 of the Child’s Act,” Azalina told the Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

293 cases filed at special court for sexual crimes against children, says minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — A total of  293 cases have been filed at the Special Court for Sexual Crimes Against Children since the court’s establishment on June 22 this year, the Parliament was told today.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department  Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said 84 per cent or 248 of the cases were disposed off over a three month period.

She said the court was equipped with  a Court Recording Transcription (CRT) system, as well as an audio-visual system system and a   children’s witness room, to help expedite proceeding of cases.

“The special infrastructure is very important to facilitate the court proceeding as it can ensure the trial and hearing of cases be done fast and effectively,” she said during the question and answer sessions in the Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

Malaysia: Communities still in denial months after case of UK’s ‘worst paedophile’

Source: Asian Correspondent

MORE than six months after Richard Huckle was sentenced to life in jail for sexually abusing scores of children, most of the families in the Malaysian communities where he lived are declining counselling and other help, police say.

Huckle had posed as a freelance photographer, English teacher and Western philanthropist over the past decade to gain access mostly to impoverished communities in Kuala Lumpur, where taboos around child sex abuse often prevent families from disclosing it.

Police reached out to 320 adults and 101 children in two communities affected by Huckle, Ong Chin Lan, the head of the Sexual, Women and Children Investigation Division of the Malaysian national police said in an interview.

“We have identified a few victims. We have tried to identify communities,” Ong said. “But we respect the parents and guardians’ view of not coming forward. They don’t want to lodge a police report because of pride and shame.” Read more

New sexual crime Bill ready for Cabinet

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Pic taken from FMT News

Pic taken from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — The first draft of the Child Sexual Crime Bill is ready and expected to be presented to the Cabinet for policy drafting by next week.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, who chaired the task force for sexual crimes against children at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration yesterday, said the Bill would incorporate a change in the definition of sexual crime to include crimes committed online.

The Bill, if passed, would be an extension to the Child Act (Amendment) 2016 and the Penal Code.

“We want to bring it to Parliament this month but we need views and to carry out discussion with the committee and all ministries at the policy level,” she said.

Azalina said the Bill would see the change in definition of online and offline sexual crime.

“We will also see anti-grooming laws to prevent predators from using social media to lure young children,” she said. Read more

Activists: Negligent parents should face music

Source: The Malay Mail Online

According to the police, the father said he found the child in a weak state and rushed her to Kulai Hospital where medical officers pronounced her dead. — Malay Mail pic, drawn from MMO

According to the police, the father said he found the child in a weak state and rushed her to Kulai Hospital where medical officers pronounced her dead. — Malay Mail pic, drawn from MMO

PETALING JAYA, Sept 15 — Parents who cause the death of their children by leaving them behind in hot cars should not be let off the hook easily.

Voice of the Children chairman Sharmila Sekaran said law enforcers must pursue such cases and ensure those guilty are brought to court to avoid more cases of parents leaving their children behind in cars.

“The amended Child Act 2015 has included stricter punishments for parents who neglect their kids, however the authorities must strongly enforce it so parents are punished according to those laws,” she said.

“Law enforcers must step up and recommend these parents are prosecuted otherwise there will be more cases of parents or caregivers leaving children locked up in cars for hours, causing them to die.”

Sharmila said the process of testifying in court acts as an awareness by itself since parents would have to openly admit their wrongdoing which caused injury or death of their child.

“Parents who do not prioritise their child’s welfare should not be handed the pity card as they must be held responsible for their actions,” she added. Read more

‘Child Act amendments insufficient, laws against paedophilia and child porn needed’

Source: Malaysiakini

SUHAKAMJUNE o3 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is deeply concerned that hundreds of children aged between six months and 12 years were sexually abused, raped and/or sexually assaulted in Malaysia by a British paedophile between 2006 and 2014 as reported by the media.

The commission has repeatedly urged the government to amend existing laws to address all forms of sexual offences against children, and despite recent and positive amendments to the Child Act 2001, several matters of concern remain:

(i) Having ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Malaysia must undertake to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse which includes the exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.

However, specific legislative measures have not been taken to prohibit among others, the possession of child pornography and activities relating to the making or dissemination of child pornographic material. Read more

Suhakam welcomes Child Act amendments, but wants legal marrying age raised to 18

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has welcomed amendments to the Child Act 2001, but wants the legal age for marriage to be raised to 18.

In a press release on Monday, its chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam (pic) said that they were concerned with the omission to prohibit marriages between any persons below 18 years.

“The Commission therefore urges the Government to amend all domestic laws to raise the legal age of marriage for all to 18 years, to be in compliance with the Child Act which defines children as those below the age of 18,” he said.

In general, Hasmy described amendments to the Act as “comprehensive”.

He said that it showed continuous improvements in the protection of children’s rights in the country and would forward its comments on the various amendments to the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

Read more

Ending child marriage an economic gain for nation — Sharifah Halimah Jaafar

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Young Muslim girls in Malaysia - APF / Manan Vatsyayana

Young Muslim girls in Malaysia – APF / Manan Vatsyayana

APRIL 7 — Mariam was a 14 year-old Form 2 student when she was forced to stop schooling after she had granted marriage to a 28 years old school clerk by her parents. She is now 20 years old, abandoned by her husband, left her with 3 young children without any financial support.

She works in a factory earning a meagre income besides getting some monthly financial aid from local Welfare Office. When asked about how she would care for her young children, she stared blankly and muttered, “I wish I hadn’t left school that early!”

The burden of child marriage in Malaysia

Globally, child marriage has affected an estimated 400 million women now aged between 20-49 years old. According to United Nation (UN) estimates, without concerted action taken, in the coming decade, approximately 14 million girls annually or 39 000 daily will get marry too young! Read more