PM: Surge in sex crime linked to new lifestyle


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 27 Jul 2003

BY SHAHANAAZ HABIB

KUALA LUMPUR: Expressing concern over crime in the country, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia needs to “limit the kind of freedom that is very damaging to moral values.” 

The Prime Minister believed the recent crimes, which had been unheard of in the country in the past, were related to society’s “new lifestyle.” 

“The worst thing is the corruption of the mind coming from the distribution of pornographic films. I’m quite sure young men looking at that become extremely excited and don’t care any more about what they are doing. 

“He doesn’t think. He sees a child and he rapes the child. Because they see these pornographic films, there must be something stirring in their base desires,” he said in a press conference yesterday after opening the Gerakan Daya Wawasan for rural folks. 

NEW APPROACH: Dr Mahathir inserting a mock key to mark the opening of Gerakan Daya Wawasan at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur Saturday. With him are Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Rural Development Minister Datuk Azmi Khalid (right). -- Bernamapic

Dr Mahathir said in the past there were no such cases, adding that people back then were “very sober and shy”. 

Touching on the case of former Malaysia Airlines steward Mohd Rizal Mat Yusof, who was charged on Friday for producing a pornographic VCD, Dr Mahathir said he read in the newspapers that the steward who made the VCD had also starred in it. 

“He wanted to sell it. Is this how you make money?” asked Dr Mahathir, looking disgusted. 

Of late, there seemed to be a surge in sex crimes – rapes, gang rapes and incest. There were also a number of cases involving juvenile crimes. 

Asked to comment on these juvenile crimes, Dr Mahathir attributed it to the negative influence of television. 

“If you watch TV, all they do is kill people,” he said, adding, however, that if the Government tried to censor television programmes, people would object saying that censorship was bad and they would call for “freedom of the press and this and that”. 

He said that in the past, Malaysia did not have this kind of crime involving juveniles. 

“Before, we had children who jumped off buildings because they saw Superman fly. They jumped and died,” he said, adding that this sort of influence television had over children was true in all countries, not just Malaysia. 

Dr Mahathir said: “I still believe we need to limit the kind of freedom that is very damaging to moral values”. 

He also urged farmers to work hard, be true to their work, adapt to new technologies to bring down costs and raise production. 

He asked why Thailand could produce rice at a cheaper rate than Malaysia and called on farmers here to be competitive. “Why are neighbouring countries able to produce rice at a much lower cost?” he asked.  

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