KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Negara on Thursday (April 6) approved the Sexual Offences against Children (Amendment) Bill 2023, which aims to better protect children against all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Ten senators spoke during the debate on the bill, which was passed by a voice vote after it was tabled for its third reading by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
Azalina said the amendments take into account the sophisticated criminal cases and technological progress which require the amendment to the definition or interpretation of the crime to be expanded.
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In an effort to overcome child sexual crimes, she said the Communications and Digital Ministry together with telco companies could also play a role by monitoring and removing pornographic content found online.
"If in western countries they have the responsibility to monitor or remove pornographic content...but if telco companies want to make money from the content views, of course they will not remove the content.
"That's why we hope that after this amendment is made, the Communications and Digital Ministry can play a role through the existing Communications Act so that it can monitor content like this," she said.
Earlier when tabling the bill, Azalina said the proposed law would replace the term 'child pornography' with 'child abuse sexual material' in the parent Act.
In addition, she said the amendments would also include new Section 26A and Section 26B which empowered the court to order a convicted perpetrator to pay compensation to the victim. - Bernama