“Victims must find courage to speak up, lodge complaints and make police reports when sexual harassment occurs. Witnesses especially need to call out, speak out and act when we see harassment taking place. Taking pictures or video of the unacceptable behaviour is one way. Communities need to be more caring and less tolerant when it comes to harassment. Harassment is unacceptable and children, especially need to be protected. We can look out for each other. We can start with not victim-blaming and understanding that it takes courage to call out sexual harassment. With movements like #StopStreetHarrassment, #HandsOff, #MeToo and #TimesUp, I hope that the awareness will give courage for victims to call out the harassment and lodge the necessary report to the authorities.”– Robyn Choi, HAKAM Secretary-General, in advocating for every Malaysian to act together as a community to curb such incidents from recurring, instead of solely depending on the authorities to act on such matters.
Image taken from Malaysian Digest
Malaysian theme parks came under the spotlight recently after Filipino celebrity Ruffa Gutierrez posted an unfortunate account of sexual harassment her two daughters had faced at a local theme park during their holiday here.
Not only was the Gutierrez-family experience embarrassing for our country as the group of men acted like hooligans at a family-friendly establishment, but when the incident became viral, it also captured international headlines that questioned ‘Are Malaysian theme parks safe?’
While the theme park in question have assured the safety of its guests is of utmost priority and relayed they take the matter seriously, the incident has also served as an eye-opener for other parents to keep watch over their children, despite being in a family-friendly environment. Read more →
Istana Kehakiman / Palace of Justice ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
MALAYSIA on Thursday launched a special court to handle sexual crimes against children, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, local media reported.
According to national news agencyBernama, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said the court will help expedite cases related to pornography, child grooming and child sexual assault.
The setting up of the court is in tandem with the country’s recently-approved Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017, which will come into effect soon. The court will also hear its first case on July 4.
At the court’s inauguration in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s federal administrative capital, Najib proposed the development of special Standard Operating Procedures to handle child sex crimes.
“The special guidelines to be developed should meet the needs and requirements of child witnesses and be in accordance with the best practices in other countries,” Najib was quoted as saying. Read more →
A bill passed in Parliament recently will provide legal framework to deal with “new” offences such as online grooming and child pornography. Pic from Astro Awani.
KUALA LUMPUR: A bill passed in Parliament recently will provide legal framework to deal with “new” offences such as online grooming and child pornography.
In welcoming the passing of the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) believes more internet-connected children in the country are vulnerable to new forms of abuse and threat.
The passing of the bill tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman was described by Unicef as a positive step towards protecting children from sexual crimes.
It also brings Malaysia closer into alignment with existing international legal frameworks such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a human rights treaty under the United Nations. Read more →
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 →
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 →
KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 ― Datuk Shabudin Yahya today clarified that he was referring to consensual sex involving minors with his controversial suggestion for rapists to marry their victims.
The Tasik Gelugor MP denied he was referring to violent rape while debating the Child Sexual Offences Bill 2017 yesterday, following uproar over his suggestion.
He insisted that such crimes should be dealt with according to existing laws such as the Penal Code, and rejected reports that he was condoning such rapes.
“But in society’s reality, there are many cases of rape that are classified by law as ‘statutory rape’ but based on common consent.
“To resolve such problems, families often cover up the shame, do not make police reports and eventually make the decision to marry them,” he said in a statement on the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers site. Read more →
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, pic from the Star Online.
KUALA LUMPUR: Amendments to the Domestic Violence Act 1994 (DVA) to be tabled before the current Parliament meeting ends next month will not be confined to protecting female victims, but will also include protection for male victims.
The Act is current being amended to give it more bite, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.
However, there are activists who are concerned that the proposed amendments may only focus on female victims, she added.
“I can assure you the law will include protection for all genders and not only be confined to women,” she told reporters after launching the 1st Asia Pacific Ministerial Forum on the Management of Social Transformation at a hotel here on Wednesday.
”The amended law may be tabled in Parliament next week together with the Child Sexual Crime Act, and I will hold a press conference on the details then,” Rohani said. Read more →