Suspected paedophile Richard Huckle went on a spree abusing at least 23 children from mainly poor communities in Kuala Lumpur, but were the Malaysian police aware of it?
Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching raised this question after UK authorities brought 91 charges against Huckle who admitted to the offences against his victims aged between six months and 12 years from 2006 to 2014.
"While I am thankful that he is now brought to book by the UK authority, I demand explanation from the Royal Malaysian Police on whether any police reports were lodged against Huckle while he was here in Malaysia between 2006 and 2014.
"If indeed police reports by the victims’ families were lodged against Huckle, then the next question will be, what have the police done following the reports?" she said in a statement today.
Teo said the British man was believed to have abused up to 200 children and it was unlikely that this could have gone unnoticed.
"It is therefore hard to believe that none of the parents or guardians of these children had noticed anything unusual and none of them had ever lodged police report against this paedophile.
"If police reports were lodged and proper actions had been taken, surely we can prevent many children from becoming victims," she said.
Teo also urged the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to urgently seek information from the UK authorities and identify the victims to assist them.
"We must not only provide counselling to the victims, but also ascertain if the parents or the guardians have been negligent in taking care of the children," she said.
Teo pointed out that Section 21(1) of the Child Act 2001 provides a fine up to RM20,000, imprisonment up to 10 years or both for any person who cause a child under their care to be abused due to negligence.
"The penalty has been further increased to RM50,000 and 20 years under Child Act (Amendment) Bill 2016, which was passed in Dewan Raykat on April 7, 2016," she said.
However, Teo said the heftier penalty would carry no meaning if the law is not enforced.