Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Media statement by DAP Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and DAP Deputy Secretary for International Affairs Kasthuri Patto on Wednesday 28th September 2022 in Kuala Lumpur:

Has the RM13 million been utilised to employ and appoint qualified officers in D11 and how was the money spent? D11 must be accountable to Parliament on its expenditures.

I refer to the statement made by ACP Siti Kamsiah Hassan, principal assistant director of the D11 unit of the Royal Malaysian Police which is the Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division that sexual crimes involving children is on an increasing trend.

Last October, in the Dewan Rakyat, in tabling the 2022 Budget, Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul stated that RM13 million has been allocated to the D11 unit to employ 100 officers tasked to monitor and handle sexual crimes against children as there was a great deficiency in division. In May this year, Siti Kamsiah made a statement that the RM13 million has not yet been allocated for her division in spite of paperwork submitted to the Government in March. I had then called for the Ministry of Finance to release the RM13 million without further delay so as to keep to their word, and not mere lip service that they are indeed serious about fighting sexual crimes against children.

Yesterday, Siti Kamsiah stated that “in 2020, the division received 24 reports on sexual crimes which were investigated under Section 509 of the Penal Code, and last year the number increased to 35 and in 2022 a total of 11 reports were received between January and April”.

My question to Siti Kamsiah is how many arrests had been made out of the 24, 35 and 11 cases from 2020 till now, how many had been convicted in court and how many DNAA cases (discharge not amounting to an acquittal) have been recorded? How many cases were thrown out because of lack of evidence or the collection of evidence and recordings could not be used in court? When conviction rates are low, there is a great distrust of society in the system and the system MUST be fixed.

In a reply to a Parliamentary question I had asked in the last session to the Home Ministry on the status of the RM13 million allocation and what is the Government strategy to invest in manpower, resources, infrastructure and technology to combat online sexual crimes in Malaysia as used by Australia and the United Kingdom, the reply I received stated that 100 intakes of officers and staffs has been approved on June 1st 2022 through a letter from the Ministry of Finance dated 3rd June 2022.

While I do welcome this move, there seems to be more questions now to the D11 Division, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and the Ministry of Home Affairs on this.

The reality on the ground is that Investigating Officers (IOs) are the ones handling D11 cases now in addition to their day-to-day investigations instead of specially trained officers handling them. If one does the math, with the increase of 100 officers handling D11 cases, each state is to receive 7 D11 officers who have expertise and experience to handle D11 cases. For a state like Perlis, 7 D11 officers is something Perlis can cheer on, but is it enough for Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak, where a paedophile Alladin Lanim was nabbed? Is it enough for other states?

My question to the Home Minister is has the RM13 million been utilised to deploy officers with skills, knowledge and experience in handling D11 cases to all 14 states in Malaysia? If yes, I expect a statement by the Ministry to clarify how many have been deployed to each state. If not, has it been used to cushion the promotions within Bukit Aman?

Is RM13 million sufficient for employing 100 officers, to purchase vehicles, equipment and office fixtures including an “anatomy doll” with a recorder? If not, where will the cut be?

The reply also stated that awareness campaigns have been carried out in 12 states to date and work is on the way for other states in the country, including in Penang. As an MP from Penang, I would like to know where, when and what awareness campaigns were organised by PDRM?

While I am a firm believer of intra and inter ministry, agency or international partnerships in achieving salient solutions, a question arises if the Malaysian Internet Crimes Against Children (MICAC) have their own data on child sexual crimes in Malaysia? It would be fatal if our own unit did not have its own data and has to depend on information trans boundaries.

According to my parliamentary answer, MICAC would be expanded in all states or contingents. 14 offices for MICAC all over the country? Is that value for money and would services match the infrastructure? As MICAC’s jurisdiction covers online sexual crimes, would it not be logical to have ONE properly functioning MICAC headquarters and a reporting system by state contingents or even district police stations, through D11 officers or officers of other ranks to report directly to them? What the Government needs to do is employ more staff who are true experts in online wizardry to hack, break, monitor and stalk child sexual crime offenders online or in the dark web instead of setting up another office in each state.

I am a fierce advocate of protecting the right of children and to prevent, at all cost, for any child to be exposed to the danger of being victims of sexual crimes online. I will support all efforts by the Government to combat child sexual violence if D11, PDRM, the Home Ministry and the Government are transparent on the financial expenditures of the unit. This report must be tabled in Parliament for the scrutiny of all Members of Parliament and D11 must also arrange a briefing for all MPs in the coming Parliament sitting on their efforts to combat child sexual crimes online so we can all be part of the solution instead of the problem.

Attached is the copy of my Parliamentary reply in the last session:

Kasthuri Patto
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
DAP Deputy Secretary for International Affairs