Make sex education a national agenda, urges MP after ‘horrific’ incest case

Kasthuri said that the Education Ministry must find ways to educate young girls and boys on issues such as unintended sex and teen pregnancies. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Kasthuri said that the Education Ministry must find ways to educate young girls and boys on issues such as unintended sex and teen pregnancies. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

IPOH, Dec 17 — DAP lawmaker Kasthuri Patto has urged the Pakatan Harapan (PH) to pursue a comprehensive sex education for youths as a national agenda next year in line with efforts to stop all forms of violence against children.

The Batu Kawan MP made the call today following what she described as the “horrific story” of a  15-year-old girl in Kampar who not only did not know she was pregnant but gave birth in the toilet of her home after she was impregnated by her 13-year-old brother.

“What did this child have to go through to act this way towards his own family members?  Is our sexual education in schools inadequate?” she said in a press statement.

“Whose version of sex education are we using? When was the last review of the current sex education syllabus? How effective is our syllabus today and how do we measure it?”

A member of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Rights and Gender Equality, Kashturi said the previous government did not adequately address the importance of sex education among youths.

“Comprehensive sexuality education is aimed at gender, avoiding early pregnancies and rights — all these three critical issues had not been adequately addressed by the former regime.

“And now we have to ensure that we consolidate all our energy, efforts and drive to see these issues addressed accordingly,” she added.  

Kasthuri also said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) had released its revised international technical guidance on sexuality education earlier this month which can help policymakers engineer the sex-education syllabus to suit the Malaysian culture.

“It focuses on judgement free education on reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases, family planning, safe touches and unsafe touches as well as respect one’s personal space including on social media,” she added.

Kasthuri also said that the Education Ministry must find ways to educate young girls and boys on issues such as unintended sex and teen pregnancies.

“This will indirectly keep them in school and safeguard the overall reproductive health of girls and boys and also has an impact on combating child marriages,” Kasthuri said.

She also said that it is the right time for the sex-education syllabus to include a subject on stalking and domestic violence which many young couples are victims of.

“Malaysia must stand tall and not cower to any pressure group that aims to derail all initiatives by the government to uphold the rights of children.

“We need to ensure our children are equipped with the right knowledge, wisdom, discernment, protection and a shoulder to lean on when in troubled times,” she said.

“The reality is that we will see our youths surpassing all age groups in Malaysia in terms of population and the time is now to educate them on positive sex-education,” she added.

The 13-year-old who fathered a child with his 15-year-old sister will be held in police detention until December 21.

Kampar district police chief Superintendent Hasron Nazri Hashim said earlier today that the girl and her newborn are currently warded at the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun here, but will likely be put under state care upon discharge.

“We will refer the victim and the baby to the Social Welfare Department after they have been discharged,” he told reporters.

Police had picked up the teenage father at a secondary school in Kampar yesterday. Investigations to date revealed the siblings had engaged in sex several times since May.

The case is being investigated as incest, under Section 376 of the Penal Code, which punishes adult offenders with a jail term of nothing less than 10 years but not more than 30 and whipping.

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