Analysis, Asia, Side Feature

Megawati and Rosmah Meeting Reflects the Failure of Secular Policy to Stop the Epidemic of Sexual Violence against Children

Former Indonesian president Megawati Soekarnoputri commended Malaysia’s initiative to host a seminar to address sexual crimes against children. Megawati attended the National Seminar on Child Sexual Crimes which was inspired by the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, was timely in view of the problems currently plaguing the world. Meanwhile, Rosmah said Megawati’s presence at the seminar would be the starting point of cooperation between women of the two countries, especially in handling sexual crimes against children.

Citing a 2009 UNICEF research, Megawati said human trafficking was rampant in Asean countries. Young girls were trafficked for sexual purposes and boys were trafficked as labour workers on boats in Thailand, she added. “In my keynote address (at the seminar), I will emphasise that many laws have been enacted by the United Nations (UN) and so on, but what is more important is the implementation,” she said at a press conference before the dinner at Seri Perdana. Megawati was scheduled to deliver a keynote address titled ‘ASEAN Cooperation in Combating Child Sexual Crimes‘ at the seminar in Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday 14 March. [Bernama]



The meeting of the two-women leaders of the two largest Muslim countries in ASEAN is very interesting to examine, let alone the crucial topic is increasing concern of violence against children which backlog cases continues to mount in many countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia.

Exactly as Megawati’s own statements, their many laws and policies have been enacted by the UN, but implementation is weak. Also on a national level, we can see there are so many policies and programs in both countries as derivative of the laws. Indonesia for example there are existing programs like Presidential Instruction No. 5 in Year 2014 on National Movement on Anti Sexual Crime against Children and National Strategy to Eliminate Violence in Childhood (2016-2020). Likewise, Malaysia also already had the National Child Protection Policy and its Plan of Action (2009-2015) and Plan of Action on Child Online Protection.

On a global context, Indonesia and Malaysia are also state parties that signed and ratified the UN Convention on Children Rights or known as CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989, both also signed Optional Protocol to the CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, including became state parties of International Labour Organization (ILO) Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention.

However, ironically all these calls, meetings, and narratives of various conventions, laws, and programs at all levels are really powerless in stopping child abuse plague which continues to increase more day by day. Megawati and Rosmah and all policy makers in the Muslim world need to be aware that there are suffocating circumstances that surround and make these efforts futile, namely:

  1. The massive multilateral economic cooperation of AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) which translated solely in the language of economics, but minus humanity, in the form of capitalistic economic policy and free trade in ASEAN
  2. Empty international laws and meetings which are too formalistic and are only ceremonial actions
  3. The rapid liberal materialistic lifestyle which is intensively promoted by the media industry, the Internet and entertainment
  4. The flawed of education system purposes which are more shaping children become workers, rather than shaping their integrity, civilized manners and personality
  5. The marginalization of religion in all aspects of life, including Islam, the ideology in the Muslim lands. Islam only becomes a sweetener and complementary. Islamic Aqeedah and Sharia law are definitely not the source of policy making in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

These five factors above are the main trigger of the outbreak dehumanizing and crimes against children, all sourced from the existing secular capitalistic ideology in the world today. Muslim rulers of Malaysia and Indonesia should learn from the effects of social crises in the secular capitalist countries in the West and the East, where economic growth has been killing their own children and ruining their civilization, at the same time has resulted in mass dehumanization and exploitation of millions of children and women. O Muslim rulers in Indonesia and Malaysia, please remind the word of Allah سبحانه وتعالى:

قُلْ هَلْ مِن شُرَكَائِكُم مَّن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ ۚ قُلِ اللَّـهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ ۗ أَفَمَن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَن يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّن لَّا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَن يُهْدَىٰ ۖ فَمَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

“Ask them: ‘Are there among ones whom you associate with Allah in His divinity those who can guide to the truth? Say: ‘It is Allah alone Who guides to the truth.’ Then, who is more worthy to be followed – He Who guides to the truth, or he who cannot find the right way unless others guide him to it? What is wrong with you? How will do you judge!

(Yunus: 35)


Fika Komara

Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir