Bill against child sexual crimes to be tabled for second reading


PUTRAJAYA: The individual acting as an accessory in a child sexual crime can be prosecuted and fined a maximum of RM5,000.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said this will be in Clause 20 of the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 which will be tabled in the Parliament for second reading tomorrow.

“The prosecution applies to anyone, regardless if the person is a family member, neighbour, friend or stranger, who failed to inform, thus abetting child sexual crimes.

“For instance, if the mother knew that her child is being sexually abused by her own husband and remained quiet about it, then she can be prosecuted,” she told reporters after launching the Teen@kafe at Presint 16 Neighbourhood Complex, here.

Rohani said 80 per cent of sexual crime against child cases was committed by persons known to the victim.

She said many child sexual crime cases remained unsolved due to the lack of information and evidence.

“The family members, especially parents, have information about the crime but refused to cooperate with the authorities because they feel ashamed.

“So this clause serves a warning that those who abet such crimes would be charged,” she said.

She said Clause 17 of the bill is to penalise those who abuse positions of trust, where children are placed under their care including supervisors, trainers and healthcare service providers.

“For example, if a tuition teacher has been entrusted to teach the children but instead sexually abuse them, he will face hefty punishment.

“Those found guilty abusing positions of trust will face five years imprisonment and two strokes of rotan,” she said.

On March 28, the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 was tabled in Parliament by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Among other elements in the bill include child pornography, sexual grooming, physical and non-physical sexual assaults, and credibility and evidence of children.