Malaysia: Man molests child at funfair, disturbing video goes viral on social media

Child abuse law is still weak in Malaysia

Child abuse in Malaysia
Child abuse in Malaysia (Representational Picture) Reuters

A disturbing video of a man molesting a young girl at a funfair in Sg Petani in Kedah, Malaysia has gone viral on social media.

The footage was uploaded on Durian Media Facebook page. The video shows a child seated on the lap of a man who is seen kissing her continuously on her cheeks. He ended up putting his hands inside the girl's dress and was seen touching the girl's chest.One can also hear loud music being played in the background.

According to the Facebook post, the incident took place in Taman Ria, Sg Petani at 11.30pm on January 20, during a funfair.

Sungai Petani constituency MP Datuk Johari Abdul had asked for an immediate police complaint on the incident. According to reports, he said that the local police are investigating the matter under the Act that protects minors.

On 22 January, Monday, the police informed that they were looking for the man. ACP Saifi Abdul Hamid, Kuala Muda district police chief said the authorities have already received two reports.

One of the reports was filed by the seven-year-old victim's mother, who said that the man in the video was a family friend, who went to their house on Saturday. He allegedly asked for a permission from victim's parents to take her out for food and bring her back within next two hours.

Victim's mother caught the man and questioned him after watching the video on social media. Later he accepted the crime and apologized, then ran away.

However, the minor has been taken to Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital for a medical examination.

The numbers of child abuse in the south-east Asian country Malaysia have been on rise, with few convictions. According to the data shared by Malaysian police with Reuters, between January 2012 to July 2016, around 12,987 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in the country, charges were filed in 2,189 cases but only convictions were made in just 140 cases.

Malaysia does not have a law specifically prohibiting child abuse. "Grooming" – touching and befriending children as a prelude to sexual abuse – draws no legal penalties.