The special guidelines for handling cases on sexual offences against children will be updated to a new version in January 2024, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said.
She said the update will take into account current developments related to the amendment of relevant laws and keep up with information technology.
"It also takes into account the challenges faced by all the agencies and the special measures introduced by the Sexual Offences Against Children (Amendment) Act 2023, Evidence of Child Witness (Amendment) Act 2023, and other amendments to be tabled at the next Parliament session.
"The guidelines have not been updated since they were issued in 2017, so they will be addressed properly now," she told reporters after visiting the child interview centre at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur today.
Also present was Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain.
Therefore, Azalina said the legal affairs division of the Prime Minister's Department will work with the office of the chief registrar, Federal Court, on the matter.
She said the legal affairs division will also cooperate with the communications and digital ministry and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to amend the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588) to enact laws or mandatory industry codes to block child abuse content online.
When asked about the latest developments regarding the establishment of the children's commission, Azalina responded that the proposed bill will be tabled in Parliament next month.
She said when the children's commission is formed, it will act as an independent body and observer of all issues involving children.
"The children's commission will also become the main reference centre for the handling of undocumented and refugee children in Malaysia and could also be a model for other countries.
"Currently, the children's commission comes under the purview of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, or Suhakam, but I want it to be independent," she said.