PETALING JAYA: Bukit Aman claimed that a video report on underage sex trafficking in Malaysia was "lopsided" and portrayed the country as being a sex hub.
Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Datuk Roslee Chik said the report did not give the real picture of Malaysia’s sex trade; which he said was “not that big.”
“The term ‘sex industry’ used in the video is very wrong and negative.
“In Malaysia, the existence of prostitution is undeniable - just like in other countries. But the level of enforcement minimises these activities.
"Sex is not an industry in Malaysia, the term ‘sex activities’ is more accurate.
"Industry would mean the profits are as big as in Thailand where the sex industry is legal," he told The Star Online.
The video, titled “Trapped – The underage sex industry in Malaysia,” by producer and director Mahi Ramakrishnan, includes interviews with foreign girls as young as 15 being involved in the sex trade in Kuala Lumpur.
Some girls said they were "selling their bodies" to escape poverty, while others said they were tricked into coming to the city and were being kept against their will. Some claim to have been beaten.
Another issue highlighted in the video was the alleged forging of the girls’ documents, to always portray them as over 18 years of age.
On claims made by child activist Dr Hartini Zainuddin on the forging of the documents, SAC Roslee said Dr Hartini should have forwarded the information to the authorities.
Dr Hartini had alleged in the video that details of the documents were not being corroborated by Immigration and police.
SAC Roslee urge the victims to come forward and work together in eradicating the activities.
"The NGOs are asked to come forward and present their evidence if they are really sincere in helping. PDRM (police) cannot act based on hearsay only,” he said.
He added that the video was shot in 2012 and that all the outlets visited by the journalists had been closed by the authorities.
When contacted, Ramakrishnan said she was happy to hear that the outlets she visited in 2012 had been closed.
She said the video was not meant to paint the authorities in bad light.
“It was meant to show that underage sex workers exist in Malaysia, as I’m sure it does in other countries as well.
“Throughout the making of the video, the police showed they were very serious in tackling this problem.
“I strongly believe that the only way to solve this is to work with the enforcement, and it is clear from the raid we went on they were serious about it,” she told The Star Online.