Hard times drive local women to vice

KUALA LUMPUR: Financial difficulties and the lure of easy money. These are the top two reasons why Malaysian women are turning to prostitution.

Police yesterday revealed figures which showed an increase in the number of local women busted for providing sexual services to customers last year.

Federal Criminal Investigations Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said the trend is worrying and advised women not to be easily duped into such activities.

"Last year, a total of 1,801 local women were picked up for prostitution. This is 741 women more than 1,060 local women nabbed in 2010,"

He said out of the figure, more Malays were nabbed for vice, from 213 in 2010 to 377 last year compared to Chinese (from 333 to 420) and Indians (from 84 to 151).

Checks by the Anti-Vice, Gaming and Secret Society Division showed most of the local prostitutes came from poor and broken families.

"Financial hardship was believed to have forced them into participating in the illegal activity.

"There are those, especially the younger ones, who can't resist the lucrative pay promised by these syndicates. Some were taken in by peer pressure after seeing their friends living luxuriously, driving flashy cars and staying in luxury houses.

"At the same time, there are also those who claimed to have been abandoned by their partners. Without any steady income and support, they turn to prostitution in order to feed their children, pay off debts and to survive living in the city," he said.

Meanwhile, on foreign prostitution activities, Mohd Bakri said China nationals were the most number of people caught last year, totalling 5,922, followed by those from Vietnam (2,169), Thailand (1,492), Indonesia (1,208), the Philippines (750), Myanmar (112), India (67), Cambodia (36), Bangladesh (34), Laos (14), Uzbekistan (12), Nigeria (eight), Uganda (four), and Austria and Taiwan (one each).

"There is a slight drop of arrest involving foreign prostitutes last year from 11, 919 in 2010 to 11,832 last year," he said, adding that police would not compromise in combating vice activities, human trafficking and gambling, and would continue to conduct raids and arrests from time to time.

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