PETALING JAYA: The family institution is the main deterrent against sex offenders, especially children who prey on other children.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said today even if Malaysia were to move forward in terms of legislation, “these would be meaningless if the family institution continues to deteriorate.”
“This is why we are focusing on the breakdown of the family institution.
“Families are the primary institution in our country, if we were to speak on legislative, parliamentary reform, MACC reforms, all these would be meaningless if the family institution continues to deteriorate, which is why now we’re focusing on parenting to create awareness because we want children to lodge reports ( on molest cases),“ she told reporters here .
“If a family member molests a child but they (the child) do not know how to report, then we cannot do enforcement.
“That is why the Talian Kasih 15999 through a video, a collaboration with Google was created.
“This is a form of awareness for the children on how to report.”
She urged universities to conduct studies on this crime which may be big on scale.
“They (molesters) could also have been a victim as a child, so with that correlation we need more data for us to work on the intervention.“
Yeoh added that rehabilitation is also vital for child offenders as opposed to punitive measures.
“Taking a recent case of a 12-year-old boy who was arrested for alleged rape of a four-year-old girl at a nursery in Batu Gajah, there may be others similar cases which were not being reported, so the breakdown of the family unit (results in being) children are neglected.
“When they’re neglected, then these things can happen, if no one teaches them on safety they will learn online, (such as) handphones, the accessibility is there.
“That is why we need to focus on the ‘software’ of this nation.
Commenting on a study that says a quarter of child sex offenders were found to be children who preyed on others, she said: “It should not come as a surprise if we’re only focusing on arresting and penalising them for that one single act.
“Without rehabilitation, they will not know that this is wrong, they don’t know how to get help also, a lot of this sexual act comes from sexual addiction, so we need to teach these children how to fight it.
“If we don’t talk about it, where are they going to get help?