Perak Women for Women Society (PWW) president S. Sumathi said the registry was important not only for the authorities to keep tabs on the offenders, but also for the public to be kept informed.
“Employers must have access to check the background of prospective employees before hiring them.
“This is more important if they are from schools, childcare service providers or even coaching on extracurricular activities,” she said, adding that the registry should have proper guidelines.
On Friday, a 40-year-old part-time mechanic was jailed six years and fined RM10,000 by the Kuantan Sessions Court for possession of obscene materials, including child pornographic videos.
In April, a 57-year-old security guard in Butterworth was slapped with 23 counts of sex-related offences, including physical sexual assault on a nine-year-old-boy, for possessing child pornographic materials and making child pornography.
MCA publicity bureau chairman Chan Quin Er had in January this year urged for such a registry.
For a social activist who wished to be known as Nurul, the registry should be a priority.
“I’ve been involved with several societies and non-governmental organisations that focus on children safety for more than 10 years.
“Among the activities we held included talks with charity homes and orphanages on sex education.
“To our surprise, there are many children and teenagers who are not aware about inappropriate touching,” she said.
Nurul recounted how a 13-year-old girl told her that an uncle had been touching her private parts but she was too scared to inform her guardians.
“We contacted the Welfare Department. The girl was given counselling to help her deal with trauma,” she said.
Nurul, 41, said the registry would also help charity homes to check on the background of their volunteers before allowing them to be with children.
“No child should become a victim of sexual abuse. They must be protected from paedophiles.
“As adults, it is our responsibility to create a safe environment for the children and having the registry will definitely help,” she said.
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) deputy executive director Yu Ren Chung said the registry could only be effective if people report incidents of child sexual abuse.
“Every one of us has to do our part. Should any of us witness or suspect that a child is being sexually abused, we must report this to the authorities as required by the law.
“And if it is something you see or hear in your neighbourhood, school or at home, please lodge a police report or contact Talian Kasih at 15999,” he said.
School counselling teacher Ariffshah Hasan, 36, said he had encountered at least three cases of students involved in incest rape and inappropriate touching in his 12 years of service.
“There was a case back in 2015, where a 14-year-old student was impregnated by her father.
“When facing a case like this, there is a procedure for us to follow.
“We contacted the Welfare Department and alerted the police.
“There were also incidents where the victim’s mother refused to lodge a police report and chose to settle it among themselves,” he said.
Some parents, he said, opted to keep quiet as they did not want the case to be prolonged.
“But my main concern is the safety of the victims. So I believe in the urgency of having the registry in the country,” he said.
The registry, he said, would also serve as a warning to others.
“Perhaps an alert can be sent to the neighbourhood where the offender lives.
“The data can also be attached with recent photographs,” he said.
For a 29-year-old mother who only gave her name as Deviah, she believed the registry would help provide a safer environment for children.
“I have a four-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son.
“We often see news about paedophiles in the country and it terrifies us,” she said.
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful