THE EDITOR: The House of Representatives last Friday unanimously passed the Sexual (Amendment) Bill 2019 but surprisingly none of the 28 representatives questioned the “nondisclosure” aspect of the bill.
The bill was intended to reveal all those people who have been convicted of sexual offences, and to give an opportunity to people who have children to be aware of the potential danger.
However, the names on this list would only be made available to the public via a court order. While this is being done, chances are the sexual offender could strike again and of course we all know how our legal system works – sometimes the custodians are sick, on vacation or the list has been misplaced.
Why did the 28 representatives see it fit to put a cover on the list?
In the US there is a similar law called the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act which was passed in 2006. This law requires every sex offender who has been released from incarceration or who is moving to a new residence to register at the nearest police precinct.
The US version calls for monitoring and constant registration so that the people know at all times who they are and where they reside. Failure to notify the police of a change of residence results in a hefty fine and/or incarceration.
In comparison to the US version, our representatives didn’t do such a good job in protecting the public, and now the bill goes to the Senate for its blessing,
I am hoping the senators reject the bill in its present form and have it returned to the House for an amendment to provide access and notification of sex offenders.
JAY G RAKHAR