Sex abuse against kids rising in Malaysia

Sex abuse against kids rising in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: She was a sprightly 14-year-old eager to play the guitar. So when four men in the neighbourhood offered to come over to her house and play for her, she readily agreed.

But she didn't get to enjoy the guitar tune in the end. Instead she was to pay a heavy price for that awful moment of ignorance. They took turns to rape her.

They also forced her to perform oral sex on them and recorded the whole ugly episode on their cellphones.

This happened in the Klang Valley not long ago and is not an isolated case.

In fact, there are more than a thousand of such cases involving sexual abuse on children every year.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said there were 571 cases of child sexual abuse filed in court in the first three months of this year.

A magistrate who hears cases involving juveniles attested to this, saying there were also cases of Facebook friends who later claimed they were raped by their male friends or incest cases involving siblings.

In such courts, two or three sexual abuse cases among children were being heard every month. In another court, it is said that there are three such cases a week.

The magistrate also said there are 16 advisers comprising retired welfare officers, army officers, policemen and teachers who have dealt with children and take turns to advise the courts on suitable punishment for such sexual offenders.

A deputy public prosecutor, who handled such cases, said a broken family was the main cause for such crimes.

"It is a social problem. There is something wrong with the parenting," said the DPP.

The prosecutor said there was a case where a boy ended up in the Henry Gurney school, following in the footsteps of two older brothers.

"He raped his own friend and was sent to Henry Gurney school. He felt that it was all right as his two brothers were also staying at the same centre," said the prosecutor.

The magistrate said the offenders also come from a poor background, have no proper education and are usually aged between 14 and 16 years.

"They are lovers and consented to the sexual acts. But they did not know it was still an offence," said the magistrate.

In some cases, the parents only discovered their child had been raped after noticing the girl was sick, started vomiting or had certain changes in the body.

The magistrate said there was also a case where the girl started bleeding and her parents brought her to a hospital and found she had a miscarriage.

"There is also a case where a 15-year-old boy asked a nine-year-old girl, who was a stranger, to perform oral sex on him," said the magistrate.

In cases where there was consent given, the magistrate said the court would usually release on a good behaviour bond with sureties if the offender agreed to marry the girl and this was accepted by both sets of parents.

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