OSA on child sex cases dismays Suhakam


Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today it is appalled that police were citing the Official Secrets Act (OSA) as a reason not to publish information on sexual violence and abuse cases against children in the country.

Its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail told the authorities that accurate reports were required if the government hoped its proposed  Child’s Sexual Crimes Act will take off.

“Suhakam is appalled that the Official Secrets Act has been cited by the police as the reason for not publishing data in relation to child sexual abuse in the country.

“Suhakam cautions that such efforts will fail unless protection mechanisms are properly implemented and the justice system is reformed to ensure that sexual abuse cases are effectively reported and thoroughly prosecuted,” he said in statement.

Having ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Razali said Putrajaya must ensure children are protected from all forms of sexual abuse, including the exploitative use of child pornographic materials.

“Regrettably, specific legislative measures are still not in place to prohibit among others, the possession of child pornography and activities relating to the making or dissemination of child pornographic material.

“Suhakam is of the view that specific provisions must be enacted to criminalise the acts of paedophiles; as well as the publication, possession and distribution of child pornography,” he said.

Razali noted from past news reports that there were 12,987 of child sexual abuse cases between Jan 2012 and July 2016.

Of this figure, he said, only 2,189 charges were filed while only 140 cases of successful convictions.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, said last month that the government was committed on passing the Child’s Sexual Crimes Bill in the current Parliament sitting.

The Bill, an extension beyond the Penal Code and Child Act 2001, among others, aims at settling all child sexual crime cases within a year from the date of report.