NGOs want govt to monitor convicted serial rapist

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Source: The Sundaily

PETALING JAYA: Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) want the authorities to put in place a monitoring system for convicted serial rapist Selva Kumar Subbiah who will be returning to Malaysia soon.

Selva Kumar, 56, whose 24-year prison term ends on Jan 29, will likely be deported home, raising concerns among NGOs if the serial sexual offender will pose a threat to the community.

GPS tagging devices are already being used in the North America and Scandinavia — Pic from AFP.

GPS tagging devices are already being used in the North America and Scandinavia — Pic from AFP.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) communications officer Tan Heang-Lee told theSun that he must be evaluated by professionals to determine to what extent he has been rehabilitated.

“If he has yet to be rehabilitated, the Canadian and Malaysian authorities must work closely, ensuring that there is a follow-up plan for his rehabilitation,” she told theSun today.

She said Malaysian authorities must establish a tracking mechanism to monitor his movements.

“As this is a public interest issue, the Canadian and Malaysian authorities must be transparent with the Malaysian public about the reintegration plan – and the safeguards put in place.

“The Malaysian authorities must assure us that the safety of our community will not be compromised,” Tan said. ⁠⁠⁠⁠

She said there is an urgent need for a sex offender’s registry and tracking mechanism to ensure sexual offenders do not reoffend once they reintegrate into the community.

“This mechanism must safeguard the safety of the community, while also balancing the individual’s right to mobility and privacy,” Tan said.

Similarly, All Women’s Action Society (Awam) communications officer Evelynne Gomez said if Selva Kumar still posed a risk, then releasing him back into the public sphere without proper rehabilitation and mental evaluation is a matter of concern that should be addressed by either the Canadian or Malaysian governments.

“If he is indeed brought back then we call on certain restrictions to be made,” she said.

Women lawyers’ association president Goh Siu Lin said that considering the safety of the community especially children, residency and travelling restrictions should be placed on Selva Kumar and the government should consider if community notification policies should be established akin to America’s Megan’s Law.

“However, such policies have to be balanced against an invitation to vigilantism and the impact against the offender to live a normal life.

“The United Kingdom for example, practices ‘discretionary disclosure’ of sexual offender registration to certain parties with the authorisation of senior officers,” she said.

However the Malaysia Human Rights Commission said Selva Kumar has not been convicted here and thus cannot be attached with the electronic monitoring device.

The commission reiterated its call on the government to revisit and speed up the proposal to have a sexual offenders registry.

Selva Kumar was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 1992 after being found guilty of 19 counts of sexual assault, 28 counts of administering a drug or noxious substance, 10 counts of various kinds of assault and a dozen other charges, including extortion.