MPs from both sides support child protection law

 |Mar 28, 2017
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said talking to newsmen at the Dewan Rakyat.

Child sexual predators beware!

The new child protection law tabled at the Parliament today will make sure that no child sexual offenders escape punishment for their crime.

“The law is going be very very strict. We are going very deep. Family members, teachers, coaches, nobody escapes. No more surface level. To all perpetrators out there, you can run but you cannot hide. We will go after you.

“We will not stop here. We intend to go on a roadshow to educate the people,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman told reporters at the Dewan Rakyat after tabling the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017.

In a rare show of unity, more than 20 MPs from both sides of political divide stood united to support the bill at Azalina’s press conference held at the media room.

Present were Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Chew Mei Fun, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Kuala Selangor MP Irmohizam Ibrahim, MCA women leader Heng Seai Kie and Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto.

The bill proposes a law to forbid the making and own child pornography, as well as various offences such as child sexual assault.

“I’m excited that lawmakers from both divides had given their support and we are still open for further proposals.

“Maybe suggestions for further punishments. We can still amend some of the sections. Cases involving children should be dealt with seriously,” said Azalina.

Azalina urged all the 222 MPs to vote in favour of the bill, stating that those who failed to do so could be considered “perverts”.

The Pengerang MP said every child depended on his or her family to make a police report, which sometimes was not possible as the perpetrators were among family members.

She said the new law will not be the end of the struggle as she planned to conduct nationwide roadshows to educate the public on the issue.

Meanwhile, Nurul Izzah called on for everyone to unite in ensuring that the sexual perpetrators were brought to justice, adding that a holistic solution was needed to address the issue.

“This is an important and fundamental issue. We have to protect our children from the fires that may be ignited at home,” said Nurul.

Murali is a contributor to MO. He advocates the principle of practising human rights with responsibility.