MP: How did paedophile operate so long in Sarawak before getting caught?

Dr Kelvin Yii (file photo)

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KUCHING, Sept 6: Why did it take so long for the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to apprehend paedophiles operating in Sarawak and the whole of Malaysia?

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii raised this question following the arrest and conviction of a prolific Sarawakian paedophile who was based in Lundu for more than a decade before his incarceration.

“While I strongly welcome the collaboration between the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Australian Federal Police that led to the arrest of one of the world’s most wanted paedophiles, Alladin Lanim who operated out of Lundu, Sarawak, we do need to ask real questions where were our local PDRM during all this while and how was he allowed to operate for more than a decade without being caught.

“Fact is this is not the only time such a case has happened in Malaysia. It also took efforts from the UK police which captured Richard Huckle, dubbed Briton’s worst paedophile, in Kuala Lumpur who was later sentenced to 22 counts of life imprisonment in the United Kingdom in 2016 for sexually abusing around 200 children between 2006 and 2014, especially in Malaysia,” said Dr Yii in a statement today.

To him, this begs the question of whether the police force are properly empowered and given adequate training and resources, or whether they may have misplaced priorities.

The police institutions must be strengthen, he said, and allowed to focus on real crimes to protect the people instead.

“In the case of Alladin, Lundu is actually a small place and it begs the question why weren’t our local police aware of his activities.

“I do hope that this serves as a wake-up call for all of us especially for the government to takes crime related to children seriously and to strengthen the federal police’s specialised Sexual, Women and Child Investigations Division.

“This includes funding to equip law enforcement officers with the necessary technical and training expertise to crack down on child sexual abuse and exploitation.”

Dr Yii said the police cannot drag their feet anymore and allow children especially those in rural areas who may be more vulnerable to be exposed to such dangers.

A holistic plan must be written up also to educate children on such issues and ways to protect themselves and this must be incorporated in the education system and taught widely, he added.

Dr Yii noted parents and teachers play and important roles to empower and educate children, but more must also be done to address this issue including law reforms to increase penalty and enforcement in Malaysia so that the country does not become a reservoir for paedophiles who prey on the vulnerable.

“Even so, I do believe PDRM have to explain to the public, why are people like Alladin and even Richard Huckle allowed to operate on our shores for so long before being arrested.

“They owe the children as well as the many other children whose predators have gone undetected or only detected after years of abuse and society at large an clear explanation,” said Dr Yii. — DayakDaily