Assemblyman urges Sabah women's organisations to join forces and aid women and children

BRANDON JOHN

KOTA KINABALU: A state assemblyman today called for women's associations in Sabah to take advantage of their huge representation and combine forces to hold programmes for victimised children and women.

Sekong assemblyman Datuk Samsudin Yahya, in debating the government policy speech at the state assembly sitting here, said Sabah is among the states with the most number of women's associations, with over 30 registered bodies.

"I believe if all of them work together, we can implement more successful programmes especially in providing shelter homes for abuse and rape victims, which I find still lacking here," he said.

At the same time, Samsudin expressed support for the new law on Sexual Offences Against Children 2017, which he hoped would see harsh punishments towards offenders.

"Violent crimes, in particular rape, has been on the rise of late and involves young victims. So programmes need to be expanded not only in the state capital here but also the rural areas.

"At the same time, I urge related ministries like State Community Development and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, Health Department and Education Department as well as non-governmental organisations to support and boost initiatives to create awareness amongst parents and children on sexual crimes," said Samsudin.