Hornbill Unleashed

September 13, 2017

Sarawak alarmed over rise of incest

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said incest cases in the state this year had increased to 15 up to this September from 13 cases recorded last year. ― Picture by Sulok TawieThe increasing cases of incest in Sarawak have set off alarm bells on the effectiveness of the state’s awareness programmes.

According to Sarawak Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, incest cases in the state this year had increased to 15 up to this September from 13 cases recorded last year.

Fatimah said nine of the cases had been solved while the rest are in the legal process.

“Due to the close relationship, lodging a police report will take a lot of courage on the victim’s part,” The Borneo Post reported Fatimah as saying after the official launch of the ‘Pameran Raja Kita dan Dirgahayu’ by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud at Plaza Merdeka yesterday.

She added that the victim would be reluctant and feel guilty for putting her own family member(s) behind bars. The victim’s mother would be at fault as well for knowing what was happening, but who did not make any report out of fear of losing the family provider.

“The decision that she has to make is very difficult especially when choosing to either protect her child or her husband. This is not an easy choice under this kind of circumstances,” Fatimah pointed out.

The Borneo Post reported that awareness programmes are mainly carried out by the government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and religious bodies.

However, Fatimah reportedly said that those in charge have not been able to reach out to more people.

Fatimah said the issue will be discussed at the third Women and Family Council Meeting. Police representatives will attend the meeting and provide the latest sexual crimes statistics, especially against children.

Fatimah also said those who know of any cases are bound by law to report it to the police or face prosecution.

She warned that failure to inform the police of the crime or the intention of any person to commit sexual offences against children is breaking the law under the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017.

Section 19 of the Act states that anyone convicted of failure to inform the police is committing an offence and on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000.

“I call on any person who has information about the heinous act to come forward and report the matter to the police immediately. The cooperation of the community, including parents, is very much needed to reduce the number of incest cases in the state.

“On top of that, we do not want to see the victim suffering alone if there is no action taken against the culprit,” she said.

She further congratulated the police for acting swiftly on any cases that were reported. She also noted that in most cases, charges were made against the accused before the remand period ended.

She hoped that the actions taken by the police and stiff sentencing by the courts will reduce the cases of incest in Sarawak.

Out of the 13 cases in 2016, three were committed by fathers, three by step-fathers, one by grandfather, one by brother, four by uncles and one by brother in law. In 2017, eight cases were committed by fathers, two by step fathers, three by grandfathers, two by brothers and four by uncles.

The victims’ ages ranged between three and 19 while the culprits were aged between 17 and 64.

Source : The Malay Mail Online



1 Comment »

  1. This is where religious study has failed?

    Comment by Nina — September 14, 2017 @ 2:51 PM | Reply

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