PUTRAJAYA, Jan 14 — Street crime cases last year recorded the lowest number, with a 57.5 per cent drop in the number of registrations, and could be attributed to the imposition of the various movement control orders, said Chief Justice, Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.
Speaking on analysis of the trend of cases, Tengku Maimun said street crime cases have been on a steady decline between the period of 2017 to 2021, however, last year recorded the lowest number.
“Perhaps the imposition of the various movement control orders and the resulting lockdowns left no one on the streets to commit such crimes which might explain the reason for the drop,” she said in her speech at the opening of the Legal Year 2022: Access to Justice and the New Normal here today.
Meanwhile, Tengku Maimun said the judiciary is mindful of the drop in Malaysia’s international ranking in human trafficking cases.
“However, it is understood that in an adversarial system such as ours, the courts are, by constitutional design, incapable of taking active measures to weed out human trafficking.
“Even when such cases are before the courts, judges must decide according to the law, the facts and evidence,” she said.
Tengku Maimun said between 2018 and 2021, the number of human trafficking cases appears not to deviate too much from year to year, adding that the trend appears to show a decline in the number of case registrations.
She added that the pandemic has greatly reduced movement in and out of the country and it is possible that the decline in the number of cases from 402 cases in 2020 to 333 cases in 2021 is attributable to the pandemic.
However, she said the statistics show that there was also a slight decline between 2018 and 2019 well before the pandemic.
Tengku Maimun further said that Malaysia recorded an alarming drop of about 53.6 per cent from 119,258 to 55,305 for commercial cases such as bankruptcy and insolvency cases between 2017 and 2021.
She said commercial cases are of significance, as an indicator of the country’s economy as disputes are some measure of active business and trade.
Touching on sexual offences against children, Tengku Maimun said the number of registrations had risen almost 42 per cent between 2020 and 2021.
She said sexual offences against children are a serious problem and the judiciary has had dialogues with the executive about establishing more sexual crime courts to hear these cases.
“This will entail an increase in the number of posts allocated to the judiciary to sit in these courts. We hope this step helps to bring down the numbers,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tengku Maimun said that the number of corruption cases registered between 2017 and 2021 has not been consistent, with some years recording more cases than others.
“However, the total number of cases registered in 2020 and 2021 shows a small increase. As corruption is a scourge in society, it is important that this area is closely monitored as it is a measure of the nation’s health and image, both domestically and internationally,” she said.