Heng: Preventing sex crimes needs strong bipartisan effort

  • Nation
  • Monday, 06 Feb 2017

PETALING JAYA: In the interest of public safety, the rights of vulnerable groups such as children come first, says Datuk Heng Seai Kie (pic).

The Wanita MCA chairman said it was regrettable that DAP's Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh had depicted the wing's call for a sex offenders registry to safeguard "would-be victims" of convicted rapist Selva Kumar Subbiah as a contravention of the Federal Constitution.

If the wing's calls are seen as beyond the scope of the Constitution, Heng pointed out that Wanita PKR chairperson Zuraida Kamaruddin had taken a similar stance when she called for Selva Kumar to be placed under lock and key.

"In fact, Wanita PKR's call to punish him in Malaysia for sex offences committed in Canada is akin to copying our call on double jeopardy," she said in a statement on Monday.

Heng, who is adviser on national unity and integration in the Prime Minister's Department, urged Ramkarpal to read Wanita MCA's press statement in full as their stand was clear, constructive, and neither unprecedented nor uncalled for.

She said he missed their point about enacting laws so that Malaysians who committed sex offences overseas must face charges back home.

"We had cited British courts of sentencing serial paedophile Richard Huckle to 22 life sentences for paedophilia committed in Malaysia.

"We may not be the top constitutional lawyer or expert, but we know it is our duty to protect our people," she said, standing firm on their earlier statement which gave recommendations to tackle and deter sex offences, ranging from immediate implementation of a sex offenders registry (SOR) to criminalising child sexual grooming.

With Selva Kumar's pending deportation to Malaysia, DAP's Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin had also called for immediate enforcement of the SOR on Feb 3.

However, Heng said for someone to be listed in the Malaysian SOR indicated that the person was found guilty by local courts and convicted of sex crimes here.

Heng said Ramkarpal should also rebuke Yeo's call as a violation of the Constitution as there were no known reported cases against Selva Kumar here.

She then urged the DAP to show compassion and empathy towards victims of sex abuse, regardless of their age, gender and citizenship.

"Protecting would-be victims, providing support to rape victims to recover and lead a normal life, and ensuring that sex offenders do not repeat their aggression must take precedence.

"Politicians, irrespective of political affiliation, should not merely criticise and object to constructive proposals which are beneficial to the public," she said.

She also noted the "strange silence" from the heads of Wanita DAP chairman Chong Eng, PAS Muslimat chief Dr Najihatusalehah Ahmad and Parti Amanah Negara Wanita chief Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud on the return of Selva Kumar and other Malaysians who had committed sex crimes abroad. .

"Will they be man enough to join Wanita MCA in exhorting that Malaysian sex predators on home soil too face trial and conviction locally although the sex crimes were committed overseas?" Heng queried.

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