KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): A total of 1,721 cases of sexual crimes against children were recorded from January to June 30 this year, says Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff.
She said based on statistics from the police, there were 651 rape cases, 344 molest cases, 106 incest cases, 106 unnatural sex cases, and 514 cases under the Sexual Offences Against Children 2017 (Act 792).
"The benchmark study released by The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2019, puts Malaysia in 23rd place out of 60 countries in efforts to protect children from sexual crimes.
"... the government has taken various actions to address the issue of paedophilia and sexual crimes, including aspects of prevention, legislation and intervention, the support system as well as further studies and research to help strengthen existing systems," she said during the question-and-answer session at Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Aug 18).
She was replying a question by Shaharizukirnain Abd Kadir (PAS-Setiu), who had asked for detailed statistics on sexual crimes against children and efforts by the government to address the issue.
Siti Zailah said among the programmes implemented were school advocacy campaigns for child safety (Sahabat Bijak), the enactment of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 as well as providing heavier sentences of up to 30 years’ imprisonment and whipping to convicted offenders.
She said to expedite the judicial process for sexual crimes against children, a special court was established in Putrajaya (2017) and Kuching (2018).
“The Ministry also held discussion sessions in 2019 with the Home Affairs Ministry, the police and Immigration Department as well as the Foreign Ministry on the development of a standard operating procedure (SOP) to further restrict the entry of sexual criminals into the country.
"Cooperation is also being implemented with Unicef (the United Nations Children's Fund) to study online sexual crimes against children," she added. – Bernama