PETALING JAYA: The nation continued to pour its anger over the incidents of sexual offences in the country, with respondents to The Star's online poll asking for severe penalties for culprits, particularly child rapists. Most respondents felt rehabilitation would not work for convicts as they were not likely to repent.
The respondents also called for personal safety lessons to be taught at pre-school to enable children to understand their surroundings better and for better laws and enforcement to protect the young.
The six-question online poll drew 1,861 local and overseas responses, as at 6.30pm yesterday while the short messaging service (SMS) poll received 2,650 replies by 8pm.
The majority of SMS respondents (93%) felt that existing laws and enforcement were inadequate to protect children and many (43%) were also in favour of the death penalty for rapists. A total of 1,790 voters or 95% agreed to a sex offenders registry while 61 or just 3% opposed the idea.
The following are extracts of some of the responses.
Awareness campaigns should be carried out in schools and for the public. The consequences of such crimes should be made known through TV, posters and the radio.
JT, 34, finance executive:
I was a victim and the pain has remained with me all these years. Normally I would avoid reading any article on rape as it will remind me of my past. However it's not easy with the number of rape and molest cases everyday.
Mohd Faizal Abdullah, 53, mechanical engineer:
Those responsible for the rape and murder of innocent children should be hanged or like in the hudud law, they could be stoned to death.
Mugun Damodaran, 31, businessman:
Rapists must undergo chemical castration upon their capture. After that, they must be sent to live in a desert without food and water.
Simon, 45, manager:
The police should be sensitive and knowledgeable in handling such issues and they should go for basic child psychology training in order to be more professional in handling children in such situations.
Vanaja, 41, manager:
When I was a teenager, I knew a man who verbally assaulted me. He later raped a neighbour who was 12 years old. I believe these verbal abusers become physical abusers when the opportunity arises. Therefore, the verbal abusers should be profiled in the registry for sex offenders as well.
Soong Shin Sian, 47, professional:
Current laws and enforcement are too forgiving towards child rapists. Just check our legal history, how many child rapists cum killers have been sentenced to death?
S.L. Ong, 43, executive secretary:
Specially trained female police officers and hospital attendants should be assigned to handle rape and sexual abuse cases when the victim is brought in to make a report.