SHAH ALAM: The establishment of the Special Criminal Court on Sexual Crimes Against Children will be extended to other states in stages, reported Bernama yesterday.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the first phase of the establishment of the special court in Sarawak, Selangor and Johor was expected to be implemented no later than by yearend.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), I presented a memorandum to extend the establishment of the special court nationwide and the Cabinet has agreed for the court to be set up in four phases, with the first phase being set up in these three states which recorded high rates of sexual crimes against children.
“We hope that with the existence of this special court, we will be able to solve child sexual crime cases within a year as directed by the Chief Justice of the country, and send a message that the government will not delay the prosecution in these states,” she added.
Azalina told reporters this after opening a seminar on Child Sexual Crimes in 2017, organised by Badan Amal dan Kasih Negeri Selangor (Kasih) here yesterday, which was attended by Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.
The second phase will see courts set up in Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Pahang; the third phase in Penang, Negri Sembilan and Melaka; while the fourth phase will involve Sabah, Perak and Terengganu.
Azalina pointed out the move was encouraged by the fact that many cases registered in the first special court in Putrajaya were resolved quickly.
“There were 303 cases registered (in Putrajaya within) three months of the court being established, and of that number, 255 cases or 84 per cent were solved.
“This proves that the court achieved its objective and solved the cases efficiently in less than 12 months.
She added that the other courts will be equipped with the same facilities as in Putrajaya, such as Court Recording Transcription and Audio Visual Systems.
“We also hope the Permata Foundation will finance waiting rooms for child witnesses in these states, as is done in Putrajaya,” she said, adding that specialised training for judicial and legislative officials on the handling of child sexual crimes will also be implemented. — Bernama