The women, family, and community development ministry has urged parents of children involved in sexual harassment to come forward and file a report.
Its minister Nancy Shukri said parents should not hesitate or be afraid to report such incidents, as it is a crucial responsibility in safeguarding their children.
According to police statistics, there were 378 cases of sexual harassment in 2020, and the number increased to 506 cases in 2021, she added.
"However, there was a slight drop in 2022, which amounted to 477 cases, involving both men and women.
"While we acknowledge the decrease in reported cases, I remain concerned that victims might hesitate due to fear or embarrassment for their families. They should immediately report any instances of sexual harassment," she said at a press conference after officiating the KPWKM@Anti-Sexual Harassment Advocacy Programme in Kelantan today.
Commenting further, Nancy said children who become victims of sexual harassment depend on their parents to protect them.
"Parents should educate their children, not hesitate to report incidents, and be cautious if anyone engages in improper conduct or touching. They should pay attention to their children's movements and understand their body language.
"The fear and embarrassment of reporting can be part of the challenges in addressing sexual harassment, especially when the perpetrators view their actions as harmless jokes or misunderstandings," she said.
In a related development, Nancy noted that men are also subjected to sexual harassment.
"But many of them also do not report such incidents," she added.