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 Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said the immediate opening of the Special Court was not only to ensure prompt safeguard of the child victims’ welfare and rights but also prompt action against the perpetrators.
“With the normal courts, there will be a long wait for cases to take their turns 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, yesterday with Sabah Assistant Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Hamisa Samat also present.
The Special Court is expected to start operating in Putrajaya this June after the decision made following discussions between Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and Chief Justice, Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif recently.
Azizah also said that 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 when she was a lawyer and magistrate, 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.