To date, the youngest victim was a seven-month-old baby while the oldest was 17.
Of the 173 accused, 111 were convicted by the special court in Putrajaya while 62 were convicted at the second special court in Kuching. This is based on data made available to Sunday Star by the office of the Chief Registrar of Federal Court Malaysia, recorded between July 2017 and February this year.
During this period, 841 cases were registered in both special courts.
About half or 405 cases ended up in convictions of the perpetrators.
“As of now, 641 cases have been disposed, leaving 200 cases remaining for hearing,” the office said.
The Special Criminal Court on Sexual Crimes Against Children began operating in July 2017.
Believed to be the first of its kind in South-East Asia, the special court in Putrajaya was launched on June 22, 2017, to specifically execute justice against paedophiles and child sexual predators.
Its second branch was set up in Kuching in April last year.
Among the most notable cases dealt by the court was a man who faced 623 charges for sodomising and sexually abusing his 15-year-old daughter.
The special court in Putrajaya sentenced him to a total of 48 years in jail and 24 lashes of the rotan in September 2017.
It was reported that there were plans to have 12 branches of the special court for each state in the country.
“Currently, other remaining courts are still in the process of being set up,” said the office.
Other states which do not have this special court will register child sexual crime cases in the Sessions Court.
Between July 2017 and February this year, other courts throughout Malaysia have registered 2,466 cases of sexual crimes against children, with 369 convictions.
To further improve proceedings, judges handling sexual offence cases against children will be given continuous training to ensure a smoother execution of justice while maintaining sensitivities involving child victims.
“The office of the Chief Registrar of Federal Court Malaysia also strives to provide a conducive and witness-friendly environment to the child victims and witnesses who have to attend court to testify.
“This will enable the child to be more comfortable coming to court to give statements without being intimidated by the court setting.
“This Office also looks forward to better equipping judges in terms of skills and knowledge to ensure justice is delivered accordingly,” it said.
In addition, it said special courts have a timeline of 12 months to dispose cases to ensure that justice is meted out without unnecessary delay.