Wanita MCA intensifies call for sex offender registry

  • Nation
  • Friday, 03 Feb 2017

PETALING JAYA: Wanita MCA has intensified calls for a sex offender registry in view of the outrage over the impending deportation of convicted serial rapist Selva Kumar Subbiah to Malaysia from Canada.

Its chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie (pic) reiterated that Malaysia should have double jeopardy laws in place for overseas sex offenders to face fresh charges on home soil.

She said such a practice was already in force in countries like Australia, Britain and the United States.

Heng said on Friday that while Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had offered assurances that police will keep tabs on Selva Kumar upon his return, there are no laws in place to restrict his movements.

Citing the example of serial paedophile Richard Huckle, who was given 22 life sentences by British courts in June last year, she expressed concern that Selva Kumar could end up as another Huckle by roaming the streets and preying on the illiterate and destitute.

“Wanita MCA is gravely concerned that Subbiah may end up as another Richard Huckle roaming and lurking on our streets in search of fresh underage prey, in particular, among the illiterate and destitute, and may use his wealth to cajole his way out of liability, especially, since to the penniless, especially urban poor, staving off hunger is a priority,” she said.

Heng, who is adviser on national unity and integration in the Prime Minister’s Department, also recommended restraining orders for sex offenders upon their release from prison to keep them away from victims, especially minors.

“Exceptions may be made only in circumstances where the sex offender is accompanied by an appointed officer from the authorities, be it from the police, parole board, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development or Social Welfare Department.

“Where necessary, convicted sex fiends should be made to wear a tracking device to monitor their movements,” she said.

Heng said it is time to implement the sex offender registry, which Wanita MCA had been pushing for, as the Government had passed amendments to the Child Act 2001 in Parliament to include such a registry.

“The right to safety of the general public, especially minor children, takes precedence over a solitary perpetrator’s right to privacy.

“Nevertheless, society too must not resort to vigilantism once they discover a sex offender in their midst,” she added.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said on Thursday that the Government had delayed setting up the sex offender registry due to privacy concerns.

He told an English daily that the Government is obliged to protect the rights of convicted sex offenders from vigilantes, adding that a registry would compromise the privacy of those on the list.

Calls for a sex offender registry gained traction again after it was reported that Selva Kumar, who was convicted in Canada more than two decades ago of sexually assaulting 30 women, is slated to return to Malaysia this Sunday following the completion of his sentence.
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