Press statement by
Gerakan Wanita Chairwoman
Dato’ Tan Lian Hoe
March 15, 2017
Gerakan Wanita Chairwoman, Dato’ Tan Lian Hoe expressed her support based on an announcement by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib that a Child Sexual Crimes Bill will be tabled in Parliament which includes the establishment of a Special Court to hear child sexual crime cases. She expressed confidence the move is to enhance the protection of our young children from the grasp of sexual predators.
“The creation of the special court will speed up court proceedings on child sex abuse, enabling the victims to get a closure and move on with their lives and at the same time punish the offender swiftly. The government of Malaysia should ensure our child protection is according to international standards. Countries such as India where its Home Ministry ordered all states back in 2013 to set up such courts at the backdrop of their Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 where evidence of the children to be recorded within 30 days and the completion of the trial within a period of 1 year by the Special Court.”
She added certain measures such as the Prison Department or Police to notify citizens when sex offenders are released into the community is another safeguard measure such as the Megan’s Law implemented in the United States can be considered as well.
“The government can also declare areas such as amusement parks, playgrounds, schools and kindergardens in order for sex offenders to be away and under a restriction order for a certain period from the said area. This is in line with Article 9(2) of the Federal Constitution.
“Child sex abuse is considered high in Malaysia as statistics from the Social Welfare Department showed that 5,779 child sexual abuse cases between 2010 and 2015, averaging 963 cases per year.
“This new Act will serve the purpose in strengthening the Penal Code and Child Act (Amendment) 2016 as it will be the extension of the said act. Furthermore, it has to cover the fact that the offender might resort to marrying the victim in a bid to escape punishment.”
She finally added that Gerakan Wanita is fully behind the government’s attempt to beef up child protection in the country and prepared to render any assistance if possible.