Child marriages expose ‘loophole’ in Child Sexual Crime bill

Source: FMT News

Singapore daily says over 6,000 applications for child marriages from Muslims made between 2010 and 2015 in Malaysia. Pic from FMT News.

Singapore daily says over 6,000 applications for child marriages from Muslims made between 2010 and 2015 in Malaysia. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: A Singapore daily has criticised the Child Sexual Crime Bill 2017 in Malaysia, passed in Parliament just one month ago, pointing out that the legislation does not stop child marriages from taking place.

Calling it “a loophole” that has “gone unplugged”, The Independent referred to Malaysian government statistics showing that between 2010 and 2015, there were 6,264 applications for child marriages from Muslims.

A further 2,725 non-Muslim teenage girls also got married, it said.

The report mirrored concerns voiced by the opposition, especially DAP, in the run-up to the tabling of the bill in the Dewan Rakyat. Read more

Monitor all schools for child abuse, say activists

Source: FMT News

'Cases of violence against students are not limited to religious schools.' Pic from FMT News.

‘Cases of violence against students are not limited to religious schools.’ Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Two activists have called on the government to start monitoring every educational institution for abuse cases.

Cases of violence against students are not limited to religious schools, said Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim and social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi in a comment on the alleged beating of a pupil in a religious school in Johor. The boy’s legs were infected and have had to be amputated.

“We should also look at every residential school, regardless of whether it is religious or not, for similar abuse cases,” Azimah said. Read more

‘Parents still exposing kids to predators’

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Barely a year after convicted paedophile Richard Huckle was sentenced to jail, Malaysian parents seem to have forgotten, and remain blasé in their actions that continue to expose their children and families to this danger, said a paediatrician.

Senior consultant paediatrician Datuk Dr Amar Singh said many parents happily posted images of their children on social media such as Facebook and Twitter or use their child’s image as a profile image on messaging platforms, WhatsApp or WeChat.

“This provides a rich source of images of children for paedophiles to access and use. One Australian study found that 50% of all images used by websites frequented and maintained by paedophiles came from social media sites,” he said in statement yesterday. Read more

Finally free from ‘abuse’ after 10 years, children may now lose their home

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The girls at the Caring Hands home in Ipoh talk about their decade-long abuse under the previous caretakers. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

The girls at the Caring Hands home in Ipoh talk about their decade-long abuse under the previous caretakers. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

IPOH, Dec 27 — After enduring physical and mental abuse for about 10 years while living in a home for underprivileged children, a group of 12 girls finally spoke up. But now they are in danger of losing the very home that has given them some semblance of normalcy… despite the alleged abuse.

The girls, aged between seven to 18, live in Kaakum Karangal (Tamil for “Caring Hands”) located in the middle-class Lim Garden neighbourhood of Ipoh.

They study at the Tarcisian Convent primary and secondary schools which are just walking distance away and largely regarded as one of Ipoh’s more prominent schools.

The home, established in 2002, is funded by the Society of Caring Hands Ipoh, an NGO comprising successful and respected Indian businessmen, retired top civil servants, and other highly-regarded professionals from Ipoh.

But earlier this year, an unexpected turn of events caused the previously passive members of the society to look closely at how the home was run, which later brought to light allegations of both physical and mental abuse. Read more

Where unwed teen mums find solace, protection

Source: FMT News

Rumah Kita founder Vimmiyasmin Abd Razak, Pic from FMT News.

Rumah Kita founder Vimmiyasmin Abd Razak, Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Khairunnisa (not her real name), 17, is pregnant with her boyfriend’s child.

The teenager from Selangor was forced to drop out of school but harbours dreams of continuing her studies and sitting for her SPM after she has given birth.

It is a different story for 16-year-old Azimah (not her real name), who is from Kelantan. After the birth, she will quit school to work in the family restaurant, with the blessings of her parents.

Khairunnisa and Azimah intend to raise their babies themselves.

The two teenagers are among 12 residents of Rumah Kita, a shelter for unwed mothers-to-be. Read more

Malaysia must protect children from sexual exploitation, abuse — Human Rights Commission of Malaysia

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

NOVEMBER 15 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is troubled that the protection mechanisms in the country for children are falling short in protecting them from sexual violence and abuse, to the extent that complaints do not necessarily lead to successful prosecutions, mainly due to weaknesses in the current laws.

Although child sexual abuse is largely a hidden crime, according to media reports, there were 2,987 cases reported to the police between January 2012 and July 2016, and charges were filed in 2,189 cases.

Shockingly, there were only 140 successful convictions.

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.

While Suhakam fully supports the Government s intention to enact a Child Sexual Crimes Act to protect children from sexual abuse, it 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. Read more