Malaysia: Religious Leaders Show Abuse Not Limited to West

Over the past two years, there have been three high-profile cases of sexual abuse by Malaysian religious teachers which tell the same story: abuse is universal.

On September 19th, a principal was charged with sodomizing nine of his students. On July 18, a 40-year old teacher was arrested for rape. Then four more students came forward with similar complaints. Many teachers  are facing criminal proceedings.

Yet in 2017, The New Straits Times reported that a teacher was sentenced to only three months in jail after he sexually abused a 5 year old. Malaysians took to Twitter to express their outrage.

It is clear now that Malaysians will not condone leaders who abuse their power: “I really do hope that we can work with the relevant government agencies and that they will support [our] campaign,” said Raja Zarith, a steadfast advocate of child welfare and safety. Zarith,  a member of the Royal Family, is now a leading advocate in the war against sexual child abuse. She recently partnered with The Johor Women’s League, a Malaysian child advocacy group, to raise almost 200,000 USD for the fight against these crimes.

Unfortunately, such attacks happen across the globe. Fortunately, public awareness is on the rise. Let’s hope appropriate penalties are made to match so that justice is served.

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