Neighbours, teachers and family members who are aware of child sexual abuse near them but choose not to report can be fined up to RM5,000.
Local communities, including neighbours, teachers and family members who are aware of child sexual abuse cases but do not report it to the police may face fines of up to RM5,000 under the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 (Act 1972) if they are proven guilty.
As reported by NST, yesterday (23 October), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said she will be meeting with Bukit Aman’s Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division (D11), the Children’s Commissioner and court officials today to discuss ways to improve community awareness programmes.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) stated that very few witnesses, especially those close to child sexual crime victims, came forward to report such cases.
“Child sexual crime cases don’t just involve the victims (children) and suspects; neighbours, schoolteachers, and family members can also be implicated if they fail to make a report.
“This is the action I want to take aggressively because if neighbours, teachers, and family members know but stay silent and do not want to get involved, the cases faced by the victims will become even more challenging,” she said to reporters at the launch of eKlinik 6G application by the Legal Aid Department (JBG) yesterday.
So far, no one has been charged under the Act, even though it is already officially under the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 (Act 792).
At the same time, the legal aid department should also strengthen its legal companion services for underage victims.
This is our way of providing overall protection for child sexual abuse victims… sometimes the perpetrators are family members.Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said
I want to make this (companion services) a priority so that the victims are not afraid. They are also unsure of all the legal processes.
She also stated that the child special crime cases should be resolved within a year according to Act 792, but actually, it takes a very long time.
“I want this service to be expanded in rural areas and this initiative will also be included in the 2024 Budget,” she added.