Sexual Crimes Against Children, ‘Landmark’ Legislation Proposed In Dewan Rakyat

By Nethani Palmani | Apr 04, 2017 03:44 PM EDT

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said who tabled the new Bill, said that perpetrators of sexual crimes against children will not escape the law. (Photo : Matt Cardy / Getty Images)

The long awaited Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 was finally proposed for the first reading in Malaysia's Dewan Rakyat on Mar. 27. The new law includes a section on child grooming, that plainly states it's an offense to communicate or meet with a child for sexual purposes.

The Star's R.AGE team initiated a campaign lobbying for the Bill which garnered about 115 pledges from the MPs, following the release of a documentary on sexual crimes against Malaysian children called "Predator In My Phone". The effort harvested a "landmark" legislation that would help deal with sexual crimes against children.

DSP Tan Gee Soon from Bukit Aman Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division (D11) said Nov. last year said that almost 10,000 cases of sexual crimes against children were reported since 2013. The recent cases involve high-profile cases of sexual predators, including British pedophile Richard Huckle and Penang-born serial rapist Selva Kumar Subbiah - a reminder that the Bill needs to be passed immediately.

According to The Star, both the Backbenchers and Opposition lawmakers have supported the new legislation that would help to prevent sexual crimes against children despite the political divide. This bipartisanship shows that the different parties in the nation can work together to support legislations that benefit the public.

The new legislation that helps prevent sexual crimes against children would likely be approved before the year end. According to The Malay Online, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said from the Prime Minister's Department has informed the House that the second and third readings of the Bill will take place during this parliamentary meeting.

With the support of various parties, the new legislation will likely be publicized after being passed by both houses of Parliament. Hopefully, it would help the nation nab the perpetrators, especially the many wolves in sheep's clothing that cause the horrendous sexual crimes against children.

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