Psychiatrists from the Universiti Malaya told The Malay Mail an absence of such screenings could be a contributing factor to inconsistent sentencing as far as sexual perpetrators are concerned, evidenced by two sentences that drew public outrage, recently.
National bowler Noor Afi zal Azizan and electrician Chuah Guan Jiu were both released on good behaviour bonds, in sums totalling RM25,000 each, for five years and three years, respectively.
Noor Afi zal had been found guilty of committing statutory rape with a 13-year-old girl, and Chuah with a 12-year-old girl.
“The screening is important to determine whether the person has a sexual disorder, UM consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Muhammad Muhsin Ahmad Zahari.
“Someone with the tendency of paedophilia could repeat the offence if the person is only sentenced to five years in jail.
“It could pose a future risk to the community.
At the same time, someone who just happened to have sex with a minor once could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
“The overall idea is that the risk posed to the community must be lower after the sentence is served.
“A rehabilitation process must come with the sentence.
UM research fellow in clinical neuropsychology Vigneswaran Veeramuthu said the number of sexual off ences in the country has been consistently increasing over the past decade.
“In 2000, we saw some 2,000 cases. In 2011, we have more than 3,300 cases.
“These numbers are based on police records, he said Need to see problem in holistic manner
Vigneswaran, who has authored a dissertation paper on sexual offences in Malaysia, said the authorities normally adopted knee-jerk approach when dealing with the problem.
“We need to look at the whole problem in a holistic manner, he said.
Prof Dr Aili Hashim, an associate professor at the Department of Psychological Medicine, urged the public to maintain the momentum when discussing sexual offences.
“The issue has always been there, and it is serious enough. It is only when a case appears that people start talking about it, she said.
Dr Aili also welcomed Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail recent statement that the two recent court verdicts calls for a review on the law that governs sexual offences.
Dr Aili and Dr Muhsin had both co-authored a journal earlier this years on the same topic.