Articles, Opinions & Views: Why are official child sexual abuse stats still state secret? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy


 
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In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God


Which must always come to pass

Photobucket
He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?


Have you always turned the other cheek?


To My Church have you been true?"


"No, Lord, I guess I ain't


Because those of us who carry guns


Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around


Except to calm their fears.


If you've a place for me here,


Lord, It needn't be so grand,


I never expected or had too much,


But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Why are official child sexual abuse stats still state secret? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, August 04, 2018
Turkey's highest religious body suggests children as young as nine could marry under Islamic law
Malaysiakini : “… girls who reached puberty as young as nine years old were physically and spiritually ready for marriage” – Shabudin Yahaya, Tasek Gelugor MP
COMMENT | Last October, Azalina Othman Said, who was then minister in the prime minister’s department, said that no sexual crime cases involving children were protected under the Official Secrets Act (OSA). Yet, she said Section 15 of the Child Act 2001 prohibits any media report from including details that would lead to the identification of the children in any proceeding, regardless of whether they were victims, witnesses or suspects.
Azalina said this when responding to MP Kasthuri Patto (DAP-Batu Kawan). Patto later referred to a statement by Ong Chin Lan, the head of the Sexual, Women and Children Investigation Division of the Royal Malaysian Police, in which Ong had said the police did not want people misinterpreting such information. Patto wrote: “This statement is highly irresponsible as the public must have this information to protect their children, families and their communities.”
Last month, Suriana Welfare Society executive director Scott Wong highlighted the fact that many in the country were ignorant of the sexual exploitation of children. He drew attention to the fact that official statistics sealed under the OSA hampered efforts to understand the issue.
Dominique F Fernandes writing for The Diplomat (about this OSA classification) who also highlighted the case of pedophile Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin who Mara thought deserved a “second chance”. She asked: “But shouldn’t society be alarmed and coalesce to arrest the rise in cases before our moral fabric unravels? The spike in cases of sexual abuse against children is either a new phenomenon, the result of an inability to stop feelings of powerlessness present with increasing modernisation; or an age-old one, only uncovered as a result of society’s ever-lower tolerance to such offences. Both scenarios are equally worrying.”
Right now, our deputy prime minister and minister for Women, Family and Community Development is under sustained pressure to do something about the case that essentially legalises pedophilia. When two underage citizens, for whatever reasons, decide to get married, that is one thing. But when a grown man marries a child and this is sanctioned by the state, to me, this exemplifies the unravelling of our moral fabric. It really does not matter what religion endorses such unions. What does matter is the fact that the marriage of an adult man and a child is normalised in our society.
Has this anything to do with a specific religion? Critics have accused me of a whole host of issues when it comes to Islam but the reality is that I am merely reacting to the statements made by prominent politicians, religious scholars and activists. Indeed, some folks may claim that when police division chief Ong said people would misinterpret the statistics, that it is people like me who would do the misinterpreting. I think this line of reasoning is horse manure. Let me be very clear. Any culture, religion or state which sanctions child marriages in Asia or elsewhere will receive nothing but scorn from me. If a Hindu, Christian or Buddhist religious operative sanctioned the marriage between an adult and a child, this would receive nothing but opprobrium from me.
The exploitation of children, specifically the sexual exploitation of children, is something that has been buried beneath secrecy and apathy in our country. When it comes to child marriages for instance, we have “religious sensibilities” to contend with. I am glad that folks like lawyer Latheefa Koya are calling out the horse manure when they see it. In many pieces, I have singled out not only Kasthuri Patto but also the DAP’s Teo Nie Ching who constantly do good work.
Protecting religious elites
With regards to MP Shabudin’s statement, Siti Mariah Mahmud (Amanah-Seri Setia) had said: “I don't blame him totally because the law allows it. I'm not saying he is right, but that is the mindset of Malaysians today, of Muslims today." Is that really the mindset of (Malaysian) Muslims today? I do not think so. I think that this is what religious operatives or politicians who profit from religion want people to think. I think that hiding child sexual abuse statistics behind the OSA is not because people would misinterpret the data but because more people would speak out against a culture that endorses the sexual exploitation of children.
I think if more people understood the scope of the problem, they would compel their elected representatives to act. I believe that the reason why this data is hidden is to protect a corrupt religious and political culture which seeks to reinforce a specific type of religious discourse and they are worried at the outrage that would happen if people were to be confronted by the kind of culture that such beliefs nurture.
This is not about religion, this is about the religious elites. I am sure the Chinese, Indian and Orang Asal communities would want to have the official statistics on child sexual abuse within their communities. We would want to confront this issue head-on and ensure that our children are protected. We would want our religious and political leaders to act.
Similarly, I think the same of our Malay-Muslim brethren. I am sure they would want to know the official statistics so they could address this issue in their religious and political spheres of influence. There is no need to hide the truth from Malaysians unless what is hidden is detrimental to the political and religious elites in this country. This is usually the case. It’s one thing supporting something in the name of religion. It is another for the whole world to see the consequences of such support.
When this issue crops up, the context is usually a sensational case highlighted in social media. Let me assure you, conversations which social workers, the state security apparatus – current and retired – and religious activists have, points to a culture where children are sexually exploited and it never sees the light of day.
And this should be an easy win for the Harapan regime. Why on earth should there be such cautiousness when confronting this issue? This idea of the “sensitivity of religion” is misplaced. What are they afraid of? A mass rally supporting the right of an adult man to marry 11-year-old girls?
The first step is admitting we have a problem. The first order of business is not hiding things from Malaysians. After all, the 1MDB issue is no longer an official secret. By the same token, the time has come for Malaysians to confront the issue of child sexual abuse and for politicians to stop enabling this culture.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:36 AM  
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