Bandar Kuching MP: How did Lundu paedophile evade detection for so long?

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As public fury mounts in Sarawak over the recent arrest and jailing of serial paedophile Alladin Lanim, many are voicing their concern over how the criminal was able to operate for more than a decade in Sarawak without police detection.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said while he welcomed the collaboration between Malaysian and Australian police that led to Alladin’s arrest, he wanted to know how Alladin had been able to evade the authorities for at least 14 years.

“We do need to ask the real questions. What were our local police doing all this while and how was he allowed to operate for more than a decade without being caught?

“In the case of Alladin, Lundu is actually a small place, and it begs the questions of why our local police weren’t aware of his activities,” Yii told Malaysiakini today, referring to the small town 83km west of Kuching, where Alladin had committed his crimes.

It was reported last Sunday that he pleaded guilty on Aug 17 to 14 charges of molesting five young boys.

Alladin was sentenced to 16 years in prison and 12 strokes of the cane in three different cases at the Sessions Courts in Kuching, according to news reports.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Alladin was one of global law enforcement’s most wanted child sex offenders and had been operating for at least 14 years without detection, before being caught by special investigators from Australia who were undercover on the ‘dark web’.

He had been abusing children between the ages of two and 16 and boasting on messaging forums on the ‘dark web’ about recording his crimes.

The dark web is a less accessible part of the internet where, among other things, paedophiles exchange illegal photos and videos of child sexual abuse.

Yii said this was a huge wake-up call for the government to strengthen the police’s specialised Sexual, Women and Child Investigations Division, and said holistic measures involving educating children about self-protection are needed immediately.

“The government cannot be dragging its feet anymore and allow our children, especially those in the rural areas that may be more vulnerable to such suggestions, to be exposed to such danger.

“Parents and teachers play an important role to empower and educate our children, but more must also be done to address this issue, including law reforms to increase penalty and enforcement in Malaysia,

“So that we do not become a reservoir for paedophiles who prey on our vulnerable,” Yii said.

Sarawak PKR women’s chief Agnes Padan called for stronger punishment to address paedophilia crimes.

Agnes cited the case of a Lawas primary school teacher who was charged in May 2019 for allegedly molesting and sodomising five former pupils.

“In my opinion, we have to screen every teacher who is being transferred to schools in the interiors of Sarawak carefully.

“We need to protect our children from being victimised by paedophiles.

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“In 2016, Indonesia introduced chemical castration for paedophiles and sexual offenders against children. Maybe Malaysia should consider this option.

“I think someone needs to put a full stop to this. I only pity the young ones,” Agnes said.

Meanwhile, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh echoed Yii on the issue, saying the news of the arrest should serve as a signal to the government to strongly empower police agencies in combating crimes against children.

Malay Mail reported the former women, family, and community deputy minister as saying that efforts to train and equip officers with the best technology to solve such crimes were still not up to par in Malaysia.

“It is time that the Malaysian government takes crime related to children seriously by strengthening and empowering the D11 unit in Bukit Aman,” Yeoh said in reference to the police’s specialised Sexual, Women, and Child Investigation Division.

News of Alladin’s arrest came two years after the death of Richard Huckle, another high-profile paedophile who committed dozens of child sexual abuse offences in Malaysia between 2006 and 2014.

Nabbed after a similar ‘dark web’ sting operation, Huckle was convicted in the United Kingdom and sentenced to life imprisonment before he died in prison due to an assault by a fellow inmate. – Malaysiakini