PETALING JAYA: The special criminal court to fast track and preside over sexual crimes against children will be unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on June 22.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the much anticipated establishment of the court showed the Government’s seriousness in curbing sexual abuses and protecting children holistically.
“We hope that once the Prime Minister has launched it in the coming 2018 Budget, it will be extended to other states,” she told The Star.
The task force, which was set up in August last year, called for special judges and prosecutors to look into such cases.
Azalina is also the head of the Government’s child sexual crimes task force.
The Government, she said, would first amend the Sexual Offences against Children Act 2017 to create specialisation for the judges and prosecutors.
“It will be a historic moment for the country and I think this is a step forward,” she said.
According to the Social Welfare Department, 5,799 child sexual abuse cases were recorded between 2010 and 2015, with an average of 963 cases a year.
Police statistics also showed that between 2015 and 2016, there were 2,759 cases of rape, 412 cases of incest, 1,423 cases of molestation and 422 cases of unnatural sex involving children under the age of 18.
It was reported that the new Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, had agreed to the formation of the special court.
In April, the Dewan Rakyat passed the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 with several amendments after a two-day debate.
The Bill introduced a new clause, which seeks to allow the court to order rehabilitative counselling and police supervision on a person convicted of any offence under the Bill.
From The Star Online