Why the delay in sex offenders registry, asks DAP

yeo-bee-yinPETALING JAYA: Three Cabinet members were called out by Selangor DAP assemblywoman Yeo Bee Yin for the government’s lack of action and delay on the issue of the sex offenders registry.

The urgency of the matter was stressed by Yeo who highlighted the news of the impending return of convicted serial rapist Selva Kumar Subbiah from Canada after serving his 24 year jail sentence.

“He was suspected of violating as many as 1,000 women and girls and was described as ‘the worst offender with the highest risk ever’ by the chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada at a hearing after Selva’s release last Sunday.

“Upon the breaking of the news, many women’s groups had once again urged Putrajaya to establish a proper sex offender registry, the purpose of which is to ensure proper monitoring of sex offenders,” Yeo said, adding that Putrajaya must give a time frame as to when a proper sex offenders registry can be established.

Yeo, who is also the social media strategist for DAP, said the call for a sex offenders registry had been made as far back as May 2015 when the story broke about a Malaysian student convicted in the United Kingdom for possession of child pornography.

“Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri agreed with the call for such a registry after the public had been outraged over convicted student Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, who owned over 30,000 videos and photographs of child pornography, possibly returning to Malaysia,” Yeo said, lamenting the fact there had been no follow-up since by the minister.

Yeo also reminded Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim that it has been six months since the Child Act Amendment 2016 was gazetted.

This amendment includes the setting up of a child registry that contains records of convicts who committed crimes against children, including sexual crimes.

“We read yesterday that her ministry is meeting with the police to finalise the child sex offenders registry ‘very soon’.

“It has been six months since the law was gazetted, we would really like to know how soon is her ‘very soon’?”

The Sun reported last November that Rohani had said the sex offenders registry was expected to be ready by the end of last year.

Rohani said the child registry, to be placed under the social welfare department, would contain information on offenders for crimes including sexual offences, under any written laws where a child had been the victim.

“But the register is confidential and will not be made accessible to the public. The register not only contains information on convicts who have undergone their punishments, but also information on victims, whose identities must be protected,” Rohani had been quoted as saying.

Yeo also criticised Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan who had said there were concerns the sex offender registry would infringe on the rights of the sex offenders.

“We would like to remind the minister that the rights of women and girls in Malaysia for a safe environment is equally if not more important than the rights of the sex offenders.”

She added it was unacceptable that after so many years of “studying about the matter”, Putrajaya still doesn’t seem to have a clue as to how to have a proper sex offender registry, that takes into account human rights and recidivism.

“We call for quick action from the three Cabinet members – Nancy, Rohani and Nur Jazlan to get their act together and have the sex offenders registry established once and for all.”