PETALING JAYA: Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said a list to record sex offenders was compiled only in 2017 when explaining the exclusion of a Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) PhD student convicted of possessing child pornography.
Yeoh said the Sexual Offences Against Children (SOAC) Act 2017 only came into force in July that year.
This meant that the government only had records of convictions from 2017 onwards.
In the case of maths genius Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, she said his conviction was recorded in the United Kingdom in 2015.
He had also served his jail term, was released and returned to Malaysia, she said in a series of tweets.
Nur Fitri was sentenced to five years’ jail in 2015 after he pleaded guilty in a London court for keeping over 30,000 images and videos of child pornography.
British police had then said that the files he kept were the “most extreme material” they had come across.
He was extradited to Malaysia after serving a reduced jail sentence from 18 months to nine.
Yeoh, however, said that her ministry was reviewing the laws related to this issue.
“We are committed to strengthening protection for our children,” she said.
In a statement, UKM said it was aware of Nur Fitri’s conviction and subsequent jail term.
The university said it had taken various views on the matter into consideration.
“Throughout his time studying here, he is very committed and has not displayed any suspicious behaviour.
“To date, UKM has also not received any complaint about him,” it said, adding that it believed education could help to transform an individual to become successful in life.