A MEMBER of Malaysia’s Youth Parliament has called on the government to introduce chemical castration as the punishment for sexual offences, following the slew of sex abuse cases against children and a heightened awareness of pedophilia.
On Thursday, Mohd Firdaus Ahmad, from the northern state of Kedah, proposed the government take drastic measures to curb such crimes against children, national news agency Bernama reported.
He said prevention of sex crimes against children could be aided with severe punishment.
“In May, Indonesian President Joko Widodo was reported to have authorized chemical castration for convicted child sex offenders. Such punishment is also practiced in a number of countries like South Korea, Poland, Russia and some states in the United States,” he was quoted as saying.
Chemical castration involves the usage of drugs to reduce libido in men, stemming their sex drive and their ability to be sexually aroused. This form of punishment remains a widely debated topic in neighbouring Indonesia, as opponents have raised ethical and human rights concerns.
“Such punishment can therefore instil fear among offenders,” Mohd Firdaus said.
Another member of the parliament, Muhamad Ridhwan Muhamad Rosli, had also proposed the setting up of a publicly accessible database listing convicted pedophiles.
The idea behind the database is to allow places like childcare centers or schools to vet potential employees.
“Such measures have been implemented in many countries so that parents can refer or check their profile online if there are doubts on their behavior,” Muhamad Ridhwan said.
Cases of child sex abuse and pedophilia caught national attention following the high-profile conviction of British national Richard Huckle, who was given 22 life sentences with a minimum term of 25 years in London for offences committed in Malaysia and Cambodia.
Huckle, who was dubbed “Britain’s worst pedophile”, was put on trial for the abuse of up to 200 children in the Asian countries. The charges brought against him mostly involved the sexual abuse of 23 impoverished children in Kuala Lumpur.
Touting himself as a pious Christian, a freelance photographer, and an English teacher, Huckle admitted to preying on the children, who were aged between six months and 12 years, over the course of nine years.
The revelations have caused angry Malaysian citizens to call for tougher laws to combat child predators.