Women, Family and Community Ministry needs to buck up on the Child Offender Registry
MEDIA STATEMENT: WOMEN, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY MINISTRY NEEDS TO BUCK UP ON THE CHILD OFFENDER REGISTRY I got an oral reply from Deputy Minister Azizah Mohd Dun (BN Beaufort) that her ministry needs more time to implement the child sexual offender registry system. She disclosed that only 107 sexual offenders are currently listed in the Child Registry (Daftar Kanak-Kanak) and that this has been operative for less than a year. As such, she replied that she cannot provide an answer to my question on the effectiveness of the sexual offender registry policy. Her reply is disturbing on two fronts:
The number of registered sexual offenders is shockingly low at 107. What has been reported is that from 2010 to May 2017, there were 22,135 reported child sexual abuse cases of which 13,272 were child rape and the balance 8,863 are for other offences including but not limited to molestation, incest and unnatural sex. This means there are approximately 2,500 cases of child sexual abuse cases a year. Note that this does not include unreported cases, which is higher. Most academic studies on this matter shows that unreported cases are at 2.5 times higher than reported cases. This means that we could be facing approximately 9,000 cases a year. Mathematically 107 is a mere 1.2% of 9,000. We have to question whether the Ministry is really serious about tackling this issue!
The minister is not telling the whole truth when she said the Child Registry program started less than a year ago. This matter has been proposed since 2007, after the tragic rape and murder of the child Nurin Jazlin. The Child Registry law was finally passed in an amendment to the Child Act on May 2016. This was 22 months ago. The Child Registry was only up and running on February 2017, more than 9 months after the bill cleared Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara. This is a shockingly inefficient response to a very important and emotive issue.
The Minister Rohani Abdul Karim must take full responsibility for this debacle and apologise to all parents who are concerned about the safety of their children. I call upon the Ministry to buck up and triple their efforts. The Ministry should fulfil their basic duty to protect the welfare of our children. Going forward, I demand that the ministry prepare an annual report on this matter on both the progress and effectiveness of the policy. YB Wong Chen Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya 7 March 2018