KUALA LUMPUR -- A total of 2,426 rape cases have been recorded in the first eight months of 2010 in Malaysia, a Malaysian official said on Thursday.
In his written reply to a Malaysian member of parliament, Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that most of the cases were recorded in Selangor, the central state in the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia.
According to the minister, 456 rape cases were reported in the Selangor State, while 18 cases were recorded in Perlis, a northern state in the country.
Hishammuddin said that the Malaysian police viewed sexual crimes such as rapes, incest and sexual harassment seriously because most of the victims were children who are naive and weak.
Meanwhile, Hishammuddin said during the period, 289 incest cases were recorded nationwide, with 43 cases taking place in Johore, the southmost state in Malaysia.
As many as 1,441 sexual harassment cases were reported over the same period.
Hishammuddin added that 119 of the rape cases, and 73 of the sexual harassment cases had been charged in court.
All Women's Action Society (AWAM), an independent feminist organization committed to improving the lives of women in Malaysia, said that only one in every 10 rape victims would lodge a report with the police.
This made rape cases one of the most under-reported crimes in the world, added AWAM.
According to Local media, a total of 1,241 rape cases were reported in 2007 in Malaysia. The number however surged to 4,959 in 2008.
While some perceived the rise as a sign of worsening crime situation in the country, some social workers believed that relevant education had raised the awareness among females, encouraging them to lodge police reports when they were victimized.