KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 2017 (Bernama) - All quarters have been asked to view seriously the issue of child sex crimes and to support the government's efforts to ensure safety of children in the country.
Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is also the patron of Permata programme, said high level public awareness on the issue was very much needed in order to help the government to bring legislative changes to prevent such crimes.
"I felt compelled to enlighten the public, especially parents and adults, on how serious the issue would be if it is not addressed from now," she said in her speech at the opening of the seminar titled "Child Sex Crimes: Stop!!!" at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.
The two-day seminar was graced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak and former Indonesian president Megawati Soekarnoputri.
Datin said the lack of exposure on child sex crimes was among the factors why the public in the country were less concerned about the issue.
The prime minister's wife said according to the Royal Malaysian Police's statistics, a total of 12,025 cases of sex crimes against children below the age of 18 were reported as of October last year.
However, she said the number was just a small part of the actual number of cases as most of it were not reported to protect the good name of the families involved.
"This proves that children, either boy or girl, are exposed to sexual abuse," she said, adding that children as the country's valuable assets should be protected at all time to ensure the continuity of future development.
The seminar, organised by Permata with the cooperation from several relevant ministries, is being attended by almost 2,000 participants, including wives of politicians, academicians, child nursery and kindergarten operators and university students.