New bill on sex crimes against children being hammered out: PM

SYED UMAR ARIFF

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said a new bill aimed at dealing with sex crimes against children is in the pipeline.

He said papers on the bill will be brought to the Cabinet soon, before being tabled at Parliament.

"I do hope that the bill will be enforced as law soon, in order to combat this heinous crime.

"This bill is the collective responsibility of all lawmakers. We need to support it, regardless of our political leanings," Najib said in his speech to launch the Stop It!: Child Sex Crime Seminar.

The Prime Minister said the government is planning to set up a special court to preside over cases of sex crimes against children.

"We do not want to only be ‘seen’ as doing things. We are committed to addressing this issue," he stressed.

In her speech earlier, Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, said sex crimes against children are on the rise, and tough measures must be meted out to stem the problem.

Rosmah, who is also the seminar's patron, said since Oct 2016, 12,025 cases of child sex abuse had been reported, according to police statistics.

"Sadly, that is just a fraction of a larger (unreported) figure. Most cases have gone unreported because of taboo and fear over bringing shame to the family," she said.

Also present was former Indonesian president, Megawati Soekarnoputri, who was accompanied by Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Puan Maharani, and Indonesian Health Minister, Nila Djuwita Anfasa Moeloek.