KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Negara has approved the Sexual Offences Against Children (Amendment) Bill 2023, which aims to better protect children against all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Ten senators participated in the debate on the bill, which was passed by a voice vote after it was tabled for its third reading by law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said.
Azalina said the amendment took into account the sophisticated criminal cases and technological progress which required the definition or interpretation of the crime to be expanded.
In an effort to overcome child sexual crimes, she said the communications and digital ministry and telco companies could also play a role in monitoring and removing pornographic content found online.
“In western countries, they have the responsibility to monitor or remove pornographic content. But if telco companies want to make money from the content views, of course, they will not remove the content.
“That’s why we hope that after this amendment is made, the communications and digital ministry can play a role through the existing Communications and Multimedia Act so that it can monitor content like this,” she said.
Earlier, when tabling the bill, Azalina said the proposed law would replace the term “child pornography” with “child sexual abuse material” in the parent Act.
In addition, she said the amendment would also empower the court to order a convicted perpetrator to pay compensation to the victim.