Community, Gender, Govt

Chong Eng: Heavy sentence on rapist of 4-year old – Public should also rise to give voice against sexual crimes

Following the latest development on the rape case of 4-year old child by the owner of her kindergarten, YB Chong Eng issued the below statement:

————-

Source: ChongEng.org

I refer to the news report on the sentence of a kindergarten co-owner who raped a 4-year old student (http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/3/30/courts/8377838&sec=courts).

My office have been following up on this case and we have attended the court hearing when the case was first called up last year. It was indeed painful for all parties involved in particular the victim and her family. The case was first reported about 4 years ago in 2008 and the perpetrator was only charged in the court last year in June, after 3 difficult years. Throughout the ordeal, workers from the Women’s Centre for Change, Penang (WCC Penang) had been providing emotional, moral and legal assistance to the family.

The session court of Penang has decided on a heavy sentence on the rapist as a expression of societal disgust over sexual crimes especially against children. This is also reflective of our campaign to fight such crimes.

Yet, the seriousness of the crime is not reflected in the seriousness of the Government in addressing this issue. According to the Home Ministry, sexual crimes including rape, sodomy and incest has doubled in less than 5 years from 2005 to 2009. Half of the victims were children under 16. A research done by WCC Penang showed that only about 4% of the rape cases reported were successfully prosecuted in the courts.

During the Parliamentary sitting last year, I asked the Home Minister if there are problems in the investigating and prosecuting process. The Minister’s answer seemed to throw the ball back to the victims of rape crimes by claiming that failures of prosecution is caused by difficulties in getting evidents and reliable testimonies and victims retracting their police reports.

In actual fact, as seen in this current case of the 4-year old victim where it took upto 3 years before the case was finally brought to court, the difficulties which the victims and their family faced in dealing with law enforcement and the court systems have caused many to give up in seeking justice for the crime done. It is very unfortunate that the perpetrator of this particular case was allowed bail pending appeal which may take even more time to be heard. All these challenges of the legal system are worsened by the social stigma of coming out in the public after being a victim of sexual crime.

Therefore, I call upon more people to come forward to support the Kempen Rakyat Pulau Pinang to stop sexual crimes against our children. Over 23 organizations including WCC have joined hands to campaign against such despicable act. We hope many more organizations will join us in this year-long campaign.

I would like to commend the bravery of the family and the victim for coming out and persevering to seek justice. It is very important that such crimes are exposed and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. I hope victims of sexual crimes will come forth and report their cases. They can seek help from organizations such as Women’s Centre for Change (www.wccpenang.org; tel: 04 2280 342) or Penang-government sponsored Pusat Perkhidmatan Wanita (tel: 04 3988 340) or AWAM (tel: 03 7877 4221).

The Federal Government on the other hand should quickly implement the Sexual Offender Registration Act to ensure that former sexual offenders are prohibited from access to places for minors such as schools, kindergarten and child care centres.

Chong Eng

Chairperson, Kempen Rakyat Pulau Pinang: Stop Sexual Crimes Against Children
Member of Parliament, Bukit Mertajam

(Picture source: the Internet)

About stevensim

www.about.me/stevensim

Discussion

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: