Federal CID chief: Rise in child sexual crimes linked to mental health issues, online pornography

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain today said that mental health problems among children are concerning, especially following the recent increase in sexual crime cases involving underage children.

“The latest troubling case involves a child as young as five years old in a sexual crime.

“I believe today the issue of children’s mental health needs to be collectively addressed and studied by society. This is because we lack specialised facilities to treat and rehabilitate them,” he was quoted as saying during a programme to commemorate the 217th Police Day at the Children’s Specialist Hospital (HPKK) of the National University of Malaysia (UKM) here today.

Given the inadequacy of current recovery measures, he said there is concern that this could lead to more serious problems if not addressed early.

“Children continue to grow and will be part of society. This could lead to more serious problems if not addressed early.

“For example, a recent case involved a nine-year-old engaging in sexual activity to pay off debts. We thought that was the youngest case, but now we have cases involving five-year-olds. This is why we (PDRM) need expertise in the context of mental health to address the breakdowns occurring in society. After all, the younger generation is our future,” he was quoted as saying.

He said the rise in sexual crimes involving children is the easy access to online pornography compared to the past.

“The access to such material is increasingly unrestricted, prompting broader discussions on the matter at the ministerial level. We feel this issue may need to be looked at more deeply in the context of formulating cybercrime laws,” he said.

Shuhaily added that the current cyberspace, dominated by Western narratives, challenges enforcing existing laws based on local values.

He said as the first step of the initiative, PDRM plans to work with UKM Children’s Specialist Hospital, considered the country’s top children’s specialist hospital, to address children’s mental health issues.