MP wants sexual crimes data declassified

patoPETALING JAYA: A DAP MP has called on the government and the attorney-general (AG) to ensure the proposal for a sex offenders registry is tabled in the Dewan Rakyat when it convenes in March.

But for the registry to work, Kasthuri Patto said the government must declassify the data on sexual crimes against men, women and children.

The Batu Kawan MP said she had questioned the wisdom of classifying such information under the Official Secrets Act in the Dewan Rakyat last year.

“I have said before that it is this very censorious attitude and misplaced priorities of lacing critical information on sexual crimes in secrecy that encourage the silent breeding of child sexual abusers in the country,” said Kasthuri in a statement today.

Calls for a sex offenders registry have recently intensified as police confirm that convicted serial rapist, Selva Kumar Subbiah, 56, will be returning to Malaysia after 24 years of prison in Canada.

“A national sex offenders registry is not going to stop sexual crimes against children or men and women, but it will act as a preventive step in protecting and preserving the most vulnerable from being victims again,” said Kasthuri.

She also lashed out at the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for citing “infringement of rights of sexual offenders” as a reason for putting the brakes on a sex offenders registry.

She asked whether the Child Sexual Crimes Act – due to be tabled in the next Dewan Rakyat sitting – would also “suffer the brunt of secrecy and confidentiality” in the name of protecting the rights of offenders.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed was earlier reported to have said that the setting up of a national registry of sex offenders had been delayed due to the AGC’s concerns over the infringement of rights of those on the list.

Kasthuri questioned the AGC’s raising of such concerns now when the ministers had agreed two years ago to such a registry.

“Doesn’t the AGC play a pivotal role in drafting out laws and directing the language of these laws to promote and protect human rights, principally to protect the more vulnerable groups like women and children?”