DPM seeks tighter child abuse laws

Source: Malay Mail

Dr Wan Azizah said her ministry is looking at bolstering regulations against domestic violence and sexual harassment. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, June  12 — Malaysia plans to tighten existing laws protecting children against sexual violence and hold guardians and teachers accountable for ignoring telltale signs of abuse, the nation’s first female Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said.

An act on sexual offences against children was passed last year under the former government of ex-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. It aims to protect minors below 18 years old and makes child pornography and sexually communicating with a child an offense. Dr Wan Azizah, who holds a second portfolio as the minister of women, family and community development, said there’s room to strengthen the law to make it more effective.

“Ultimately there have to be laws to hold primary caregivers ignoring child abuse incidences accountable,” Dr Wan Azizah, who has nine grandchildren, said in an interview at her office in Putrajaya. Read more

Child sex victims need long-term help, NGO says

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Agape Vision says failure to do so could see the victims being exposed to a host of life issues including revictimisation.

AFP pic

PETALING JAYA: An NGO working with underprivileged and at-risk youth in the country has warned of the long-term side effects that child sex abuse victims could face if they are left untreated.

Agape Vision founder Gillian Valerie Chong said it was crucial that victims received continued therapy.

“The children need therapeutic intervention as soon as possible and throughout their lives, even into adulthood, when they feel they need it,” she told FMT.

She added that the failure to provide such therapy could expose the victim to a host of problems with long-term effects. Read more

Drive to end child sexual crimes gets global nod

Source: The Star

PETALING JAYA: The story of Malaysia’s war against child sexual crimes has gained worldwide recognition, thanks to a global report by Unicef.

Its annual State of the World’s Children (SOWC) flagship report highlighted R.AGE’s Predator In My Phone campaign and the Government passing new laws against child sexual crimes last year.

“It’s not common to see government agencies, NGOs, celebrities and the media coming together for the same goal, but we saw that in Malaysia last year,” said Unicef Malaysia chief of communications Laurent Duvillier.

Read more

Every state to get court for child sexual abuse cases by end-2018

Source: Malay Mail Online

Reuters

Judges presiding over the courts will be given special training on how to handle child sex crimes, chief registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia said today. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Special courts to hear sexual crimes against children will be set up in every state by the end of next year, chief registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia said today.

According to a report in The Star Online, Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar said the decision to establish 12 branches of the Special Criminal Court on sexual crimes against children was partly in response to the rise in the number of charges filed at the first special court in Putrajaya since it started operations six months ago.

Judges with 15 years’ experience and well-versed in criminal law have been identified to be assigned to preside over the courts, she added.  Read more

It’s the ones kids trusted that turn out to be guilty ones

Source: The Star

PUTRAJAYA: They are people trusted by the children.

But sadly, parents, lecturers, a tennis coach and even a pastor and an imam are part of the list of alleged offenders brought to the Special Criminal Court on sexual crimes against children so far.

The latest additions are foreigners who have been charged with various sexual offences against children here, said Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar.

“As of last month, 15 foreigners were charged in court. All the accused are not related to the victims,” she said in an interview.

The youngest offender to be charged in court was slightly over 18 years old.

“The oldest was 77,” Latifah said, adding that the victims were aged between one and 17.

A total of 352 cases have been registered since the court began proceedings on June 22 until Nov 30. Read more

MP moots mandatory sexual crimes check on all jobseekers dealing with kids

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 ― Pre-employment screening must be made mandatory for all new hires working with children, Opposition lawmaker Charles Santiago said today amid growing reports of sexual assault against minors.

The Klang MP said the authorities need to conduct stringent background checks on jobseekers who would be working with children, like teachers, coaches and even volunteers.

“The current laws are not enough. We have to become more serious and strict.

“I call upon the government to make pre-employment screening mandatory for people who work with children,” he said in a press conference in Parliament. Read more

22,000 children sexually abused since 2010

Source: FMT News 

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 22,134 children were sexually abused from 2010 to May this year, with over half being victims of rape, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim revealed that of the sum, 13,272 were cases of children being raped, constituting 59.7%.

This was followed by 6,014 (27.04%) incidents of children being molested, 796 cases (8.07%) of incest and 1,052 cases involving unnatural sex. Read more

Special child sexual crimes court sits for first time with five cases

Source: Astro Awani

Among the individuals brought to the Special Criminal Court to initiate sexual misconduct proceedings against children at the Palace of Justice today. –fotoBERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA: The Special Criminal Court handling cases involving child sexual victims makes its inaugural sitting today with five cases being heard.
Sessions Court judge Yong Zarida Sazali presided over the cases which comprised one outrage of decency fresh charge, a rape trial and three mention rape cases.
The special court was officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on June 22, this year.The judge began the proceedings at 9 am and took about an hour to complete hearing the mention cases and the fresh charge.

She then proceeded to hear the rape trial in-camera involving a 29-year old food stall worker Mohd Haziq Hussain who was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl in a house in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur on Feb 15, 2015.Yong earlier issued an order for the trial proceedings to be heard in camera on a request by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Aimi Syazwani Sarmin.

Read more

Female clerics declare fatwa on child marriage in Indonesia

Source: FMT News

'Female clerics know the issues and obstacles women face, we can take action and not just wait for the government to protect these children.' Pic from FMT News.

‘Female clerics know the issues and obstacles women face, we can take action and not just wait for the government to protect these children.’ Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Female clerics on Thursday issued an unprecedented fatwa against child marriage in Indonesia in a bid to stop young girls becoming brides in the world’s most populous Muslim country.

The fatwa – which is influential among Muslims but not legally binding – came at the end of an extraordinary three-day conference of female Islamic clerics: a rare example of women assuming a lead role in religious affairs in this mostly-Muslim country.

“Maternal mortality is very high in Indonesia. We as female clerics can play a role on the issue of child marriage,” conference organiser Ninik Rahayu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Read more

Sexual abuse: Parents must get kids to speak up, says NGO

Source: FMT News

Shelter chairman says sexually abused children, if left unattended, will grow up confused and develop hostile behaviour. Pic from FMT News.

Shelter chairman says sexually abused children, if left unattended, will grow up confused and develop hostile behaviour. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia should create a safe environment where children can inform adults if they are being sexually abused, says an NGO.

Shelter Home for Children chairman Vincent Pee said there should be an environment where children feel at ease to tell their parents if they are abused sexually without having to fear being judged or condemned.

“Children should be able to talk to their parents when something happens to them, especially if it is something as serious as sexual abuse,” Pee told FMT.

Responding to the issue of child sexual abuse, Pee said if sexually abused children are left unattended, they will continue to be confused and develop hostile behaviour.

“When the children don’t have the right channels to seek help and tell any responsible adults that they are being abused, they will be left confused and it will cause more damage down the road.” Read more