KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — The government has not allocated any funds for a system to identify possible sex offenders on arrival, said Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin.
“For the technology needed here (in Malaysia), it needs an allocation and budget from the Finance Ministry,” he told Parliament today.
He was responding to DAP’s Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto who asked whether the government has allocated funds towards screening passengers carrying pornography into the country or were sex offenders.
Kasthuriraani was referring to convicted paedophile Richard Huckle who was arrested at the Gatwick Airport, United Kingdom in 2014 as he returned home from Malaysia.
Huckle was reported as carrying a heavily-encrypted computer and camera that contained images of child sex abuse, over 1,000 of which showed him committing offences including rape.
Zahidi further explained that if the government were to implement a screening system, the ministry could likely apply for an allocation from the Universal Service Provider (USP) fund.
“For now we don’t have a budget. But we can apply through the USP fund which is currently allocated for the purpose of making available Internet in rural areas
“If the government agrees, we can use that fund to get more advanced technology for that purpose. It depends on the Finance Ministry on whether we can use that fund (USP),” he said.
Kasthuriaani pointed out during a press conference in the Parliament lobby today that this answer was the same as given by Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed when he was the deputy home minister of the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
“This is the weakness of the government. There is no political will,” she told reporters during the press conference.
She added that while the economy was important, abuse was also increasing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I feel disappointed with the answer given.
“It has been six years since Richard Huckle was arrested, and Malaysia is known as a popular hub for child trafficking.
“I hope this matter can be brought to the Cabinet, and will be the last time we need to raise this point,” she added.
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