IPOH: The case of a 12-year-old boy being held for rape has floored Malaysians, especially since he was said to have been influenced by the videos that he watched.
“It’s too scary to think about this. It is also infuriating.
“What is happening to our society?” asked personal assistant Joey Chiam, who said that it was unthinkable that this could happen.
“I have a two-year-old daughter. I worry for her as I have to send her to a kindergarten or a co-ed school later on,” she added.
The Year Six boy in Batu Gajah had apparently raped the girl, who had been cared for by his babysitter mother. The rape had allegedly taken place thrice since May.
A Bernama report said the boy had admitted to the police after the girl’s mother lodged a report.
She had taken her daughter to the clinic last Friday after the girl complained of pain in her private parts.
The doctor found a broken hymen as well as other tears and advised the mother to report to the police.
The boy has been remanded until tomorrow.
Deputy Prime Minister and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had ordered the nursery, which was not registered with the Welfare Department, to be shut down.
Chiam wondered about the boy’s future.
“He’s just a young boy. What action should be taken against him? If he ends up in a juvenile rehabilitation centre, I am worried what the future will hold for him,” she said.She said she believed that good family upbringing and communication could have prevented such cases.
“Children need to be taught and guided on what’s right and wrong. They should learn to respect other people,” she added.
Office worker Cheryl Leong also emphasised on communication between parents and their children, who are often exposed to many things through social media.
“It’s so terrifying that even small children now know how to rape. There’s no more innocence.
“Parents have to talk and nurture their children. Be open with them,” said the mother of one.
Leong said her 12-year-old son was learning about sex education at school.
“They learn about the mating process in Science. But even if they were to search the Internet for something innocuous, pornographic or similar materials and images would pop up,” she said.
“The more you prevent or forbid them from learning, the more curious they are about it.”
Consultant paediatrician and paediatric neurologist Dr Alex Khoo Peng Chuan said: “It’s not that such incidences are on the rise but rather they are no longer kept in the dark.”
Dr Khoo said the root cause of social problems was due to the home environment and poor parenting.
“There needs to be positive influences and concern given to vulnerable families who require guidance, coaching and parenting skill programmes,” he said.
Dr Khoo also said it would be good to have a community network where everybody looks out for their neighbour and their children.
“These days, you won’t even know how many children your neighbours have,” he said.
For the children, he said the vulnerable ones need to have their physical energy channelled some place.
“It will be good for them to be outdoors or to take up sports,” he said.
Family Wellness Club president P. Mangaleswary said all babysitters and carers should register with the Welfare Department and also seek proper training.
“Trained babysitters would have known what they must do to protect a child from harm,” she said.
Mangaleswary said parents, especially those from the B40 group or from rural areas, could ill-afford to send their children to registered centres.
“I think this is the reason why these parents turn to unlicensed babysitters, as they are cheaper.
“I hope the government can give them a subsidy so that their children can get proper care,” she said.
State Women and Family Development, Character Development and Community Welfare Committee chairman Wong May Ing said that those babysitting at home must not have more than four children under their care.
“On our part, we have started distributing brochures on sex education awareness at schools since May,” she said.
“We should also teach our children about their body when they start to sense the difference between a boy and a girl.”