Women’s Ministry to continue educating children against falling prey to paedophiles, says minister

The ministry will also educate parents who should monitor their children’s movements, said Fatimah. — Picture by Roystein Emmor/Borneo Post
The ministry will also educate parents who should monitor their children’s movements, said Fatimah. — Picture by Roystein Emmor/Borneo Post

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KUCHING, Sept 5 — The Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development will continue educating children and creating awareness on not falling prey to paedophiles.

Its minister Datuk Sri Fatimah Abdullah said that they will continue educating not just children but parents, as they should monitor their children’s movements such as who the child has been spending time with.

“We have to continue to educate and create awareness in our children and parents through collaborative work between the Women and Family Development Sarawak (JWKS) and Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS), Parents-Teachers Association (PIBG) and community leaders,” she told The Borneo Post here today.

She said this when asked what efforts her ministry would engage in to better protect children against paedophiles in light of the arrest and prosecution of paedophile Alladin Lanim, 40, highlighted by The Sydney Morning Herald.

According to Fatimah, paedophiles have no easy telltale signs that can be used to alert children and parents.

To her knowledge, paedophiles focus on children’s area of weaknesses such as children preferring online games but have no access to a smartphone device.

“So paedophiles groom their victims by tempting and allowing them to his mobile device to play online games. They prey on the child’s vulnerability, work on gaining their trust and then they strike.

“As parents, we have to monitor our children’s movements, know who they are spending time with and what their activities are,” she said.

Fatimah said her ministry has counselling services for victims but it would not be easy to reach out to them.

Most of the time, she said victims would find it hard to open up because they have been traumatised.

“And there is a lot of stigma which makes it even more traumatic for these victims especially when it involves teenagers. They may be bottled up and sometimes even the parents find it difficult to reach out to them.”

When asked how the ministry would reach out to victims who need counselling services, she said for those involved in the Alladin’s case, the ministry will have to wait since the paedophile is facing another charge of pornography.

“I was told that Alladin faces three major charges. The 48-year jail sentence was for charges of physical touch and others and there is another charge of him possessing pornographic photographs. The forensic lab is still investigating.

“So we shall let the case close first before we reach out to the victims,” she said.

Previously, Fatimah said either her ministry would contact the victim through the help of the police or the parent would approach her directly for advice and help.

“There were times when the parents would WhatsApp or call me personally for advice, other times we came in upon receiving information from the police.”

She added that her ministry would offer counselling services as soon as the victims and families are ready to open up later.

Earlier today, The Sydney Morning Herald today reported that Alladin had been on the authorities’ radar for two years, ever since a multi-national internal police report in 2019 listed his online alias as one of the top 10 offenders in the world in exploitation of children on the Internet.

According to the report, Alladin had been sharing child abuse material on the Internet since 2007 and is linked to more than 1,000 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of minors.

Alladin has reportedly abused dozens of children, posted about his exploits on the dark web, and became one of global law enforcement’s most wanted child sex offenders.

He reportedly operated without detection, abusing children aged between two and 16 and boasting on messaging forums about recording his crimes for at least 14 years.

The report added that he pleaded guilty in court last month to 18 charges and was sentenced to 48 years in prison and 15 strokes of the cane. — Borneo Post

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