Comms Ministry to embark on campaign to protect children against sexual predators lurking online
Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil speaks at the Kita Madani Carnival in Lembah Pantai in Kuala Lumpur June 1, 2024. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — The Communications Ministry will soon be launching a campaign to educate families about how to stay safe while using social media platforms, in an effort to curb the increasing number of child sexual grooming cases.

Its minister Fahmi Fadzil said WhatsApp is the most common app misused for this purpose, citing information from the police Sexual, Women, and Child Investigation Division.


"Parents, we do understand that this platform brings many benefits, but there are also many harms.

"I hoped that we could gather various agencies including the police, Bank Negara Malaysia and the Personal Data Protection Department to confirm the steps we need to take to guarantee our safety and that of our children,” he told the reporters at the Kita Madani Carnival in Lembah Pantai here today.

Fahmi, who is also the Lembah Pantai MP, said in his speech that children under age 13 should not have their own social media account, particularly TikTok.

He added that some parents have no clue about who their children were interacting with on social media or what they were doing.

In April, Malay Mail reported that there were 912 sexual crime cases reported last year involving underaged suspects – 601 rape cases, outrage of modesty (17), unnatural sex (18), sexual harassment (23) and three for distribution or possession of obscene materials, as quoted in an interview with D11 principal assistant director Assistant Commissioner of Police Siti Kamsiah Hassan

Additionally, she said that police also recorded 215 of physical sexual assault on children cases, nine non-physical sexual assault and five grooming cases involving underaged suspects.

Also recorded was 20 suspects below the age 18 had involved in attempts to us a child for child sexual abuse material.

While last year, The Star published tha the number of reported cases in 2023 decreased from the 1,006 cases in 2022, but remained higher than the 731 cases reported in 2021.

In 2021, Siti Kamsiah told The Star that police recorded 731 sexual crimes involving suspects below the age of 18 which included 552 rape cases, physical sexual assault (154), attempting to use a child for child sexual abuse material (6), outraging modesty (5), sexual harassment (8) and two cases each for distribution or possession of obscene materials, non-physical sexual assault and grooming.

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