TAWAU: The opening of the Special Court to handle child sex crime cases is timely in view of the current trend which requires speedy and efficient management of such cases.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Azizah Mohd Dun said the immediate opening of the Special Court was not only to safeguard the child victims’ welfare and rights but also to take prompt action against the perpetrators.
“With the normal courts, there will be a long wait for cases to be heard, hence the delays … we want the perpetrators of sexual offences against children to be charged, convicted and penalised speedily.
Azizah said this after officiating at the Tawau women’s “selawat” group assembly here today with Sabah Resource Development and Information Technology Assistant Minister Hamisa Samat also present.
The Special Court is expected to start operating in Putrajaya this June after the decision was made following discussions between Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said and Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif recently.
Azizah also said the public should be aware that sex cases (rape) involving child victims below 16 years of age, even with mutual consent, was deemed statutory rape under Malaysian law.
She said parents should report to the police if their child had been raped but from her observation, in many such cases, the parents later withdrew the police reports because both their child and the perpetrator liked each other and they were married off.
“However, the decision to withdraw the police report lodged against a rapist to avoid action from being taken against him is certainly inappropriate.
“But if the family has made that decision (to withdraw the police report), it’s their own responsibility, it’s not that we allow the rapist to marry his victim,” she added.