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

Devils you know: Minors raped, attacked by family members, friends

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Bukit Aman D11 Dep Principle Asst Director Supt Siti Kamsiah Hassan about sexual harassment case at Bukit Aman. Picture by – Zuraneeza Zulkifli.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Nearly nine in ten minors raped in the last two years were attacked by people they know, police data revealed.

While the common fear is of attacks by strangers, most of the rapists were boyfriends, close acquaintances, and even family members.

The fact, in turn, presents the police with a two-fold problem that hampers investigations and successful prosecutions.

Bukit Aman Sexual, Women, and Child Investigations (D11) Division Assistant Director Supt Siti Kamsiah Hassan explained that when victims are attacked by people they know, they tend to hesitate in coming forward immediately — or at all.

For investigators, the delay can make all the difference between an airtight case and one that seems like mere allegations.

Immediate reports allow investigators a chance to collect crucial medical evidence to build a case against the attacker. Even a day’s delay can result in much of this being lost permanently.

“They have probably showered and cleaned themselves, making it harder to obtain forensic evidence,” she told Malay Mail in a recent interview, referring to the victims. 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

Not One More Child: Dealing with Sex Crimes Against Children in Malaysia

Source: The Diplomat 

On September 8, 2017, with his head bowed low to avoid the press, a father was led into Malaysia’s Special Criminal Court on Sexual Crimes Against Children to hear his sentence for 623 counts of sexual abuse and sodomy. The man, whose victim was his own 15-year old daughter, was sentenced to 48 years in prison and 24 strokes of the cane.

This case is one of a growing number of incest cases in Malaysia. It comes on the heels of criticism leveled against Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Rohani Abdul Karim who, in a written reply to a parliamentary question stated that a 16-year old who was raped when she was 12, dropped out of school, and is currently living with her parents, was “doing fine.” The rapist, who is serving time in prison, married the girl on the back of the rape to avoid prosecution, drawing the ire of many Malaysians and exposing an inherent weakness in the law.

These two cases are not by any means isolated. Here are some numbers: on July 28, 2017, Minister Rohani reported that 13,272 children reported having been raped between 2010 and May 2017. Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) data shows that between 2014 and 2016, 11.8 percent of all sexual offenses against children were cases of incest. Of that, 50.7 percent of cases reported pointed toward a father or stepfather as the perpetrator. Read more

Dewan Rakyat approves Legal Aid Bill amendment to provide for child sex abuse victims

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — The Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 2017 which introduced a provision that children of sexual crimes be given a legal companion service was approved in Dewan Rakyat today.

It was passed before Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said after it was debated by 10 Members of Parliament.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said, when enforced, the bill would ensure only Malaysians could receive legal aid service from the Legal Aid Department.

“Its rational is to ensure public fund from tax payers and the facilities provided by the government prioritised the people,” she said when winding up the debate on the bill

However, she explained that the amendment would not deny access to justice to any quarters including foreign nationals. Read more

Special court has handled 62 child sex crime cases, says Azalina

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

SIXTY-TWO cases have been filed at the special court for child sexual crimes from March till July 26, the Prime Minister’s Office today.

Minister Azalina Othman Said said 11 cases had been resolved, 25 had been mentioned, while 26 were still in trial.

She said the special court, in Putrajaya, had facilities such as court recording transcription (CRT) and audio-visual systems, as well as rooms for child witnesses.

“The infrastructure is vital in helping the proceedings in the court. It also ensures that trials and hearings proceed quickly and efficiently,” she said at the Dewan Rakyat today. 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

61pc sexual crime victims are children, minister says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 —  As many as 61 per cent of the 12,926 sexual crime cases reported over the past three years involved children, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

She said this situation was serious as the children would grow up with negative psychological effects.

“The ministry will work closely with the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) to tackle the issue of domestic violence and child abuse and play our part in rehabilitating the victims so that they can continue with their lives as normal as possible, if not better,” she said. Read more