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Richard Huckle
Image credit: news.com.au

 

This week, we were rocked by news that a British paedophile has admitted to sex attacks on children as young as six months across a span of almost a decade. Richard Huckle is believed to have abused up to 200 victims, mostly children from poor Christian communities in Kuala Lumpur, impressing families by taking advantage of his “relative wealth and status as a Westerner”.

He posted pictures on the dark web, a part of the Internet difficult to access and often used for illegal activity such as child pornography, and over 20,000 indecent images were found on his computer. He also kept a record of his attacks and wrote a 60-page manual called Paedophiles and Poverty: Child Love Guide, on how to select victims and avoid detection.

Huckle faces a total of 91 charges, and these include rape, taking photographs, and grooming children to expose or touch themselves or other children sexually.

This will undoubtedly come as a blow to the families who knew him and trusted him. Even when his friends were contacted, he was described as “a normal person, just very quiet”.

As a parent, you can only hope to spend every second of the day with your child to protect them from incidences like these. But realistically, you can’t. So here are some of the ways you can educate and protect your child from sexual predators:

 

Know what a sexual predator looks like

Greasy hair, shifty-looking, socially awkward? The truth is, it could be anyone. It could be a relative, your neighbour, a friend at a religious institution that you attend, or a complete stranger. This doesn’t mean you have to be suspicious of everyone. Just be aware that there is not a single profile of abuser, and you should be equally wary of each and every one around you and your child.

 

Be open

It’s almost second nature to Asians to shy away from having “the talk”. This could indirectly say to your child that sex is something to be ashamed of and if something untoward ever happens, they would be afraid to tell you. Open communication is key to build confidence in your child to talk to you honestly about anything, even potentially embarrassing matters.

 

Be clear and give concrete examples

Identify which body parts are private – you can do this during bath time. Let them know that they have to tell you when someone makes them uncomfortable, no matter who the person is or what they say. Examples could be playing a game that involves touching or taking off of clothes, a stranger claiming to be a policeman or a friend of a parent, or being introduced to inappropriate TV shows.

 

Set rules

Teach your child that their body is theirs and that it’s okay to say no. This could even include feeling uncomfortable when relatives ask for a kiss at family gatherings. Suggest a handshake or a high five instead – this will help them understand that personal boundaries are theirs to dictate.

 

Let your child know that they must tell you if someone touches them inappropriately and assure them that you won’t get angry. And of course, always keep an eye open for any changes in behavior such as reluctance to go to school or to a friend’s house, and coax them to tell you why instead of forcing them to do something they are clearly uncomfortable about doing. It’s always better to be safe than sorry – although it’s almost like a reflex, never assume that they’re just being difficult.

Dangers lurk not just amongst strangers in real life, but also in the online world. Norton by Symantec, a global leader in cyber security, released findings from the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, highlighting parental concerns about their children in the online world, specifically on online predators and privacy. Here are some of the key highlights:

  • 62% of parents say their child has already experienced online crime
  • 64% are afraid that their children will give out too much personal information to strangers
  • 64% are concerned about their children being lured into meeting a stranger in the outside world

Measures that parents take to protect their children online:

  • 48% only allow Internet access with parental supervision
  • 45% limit the amount of information they share online about their children
  • 44% limit access to certain websites
  • 43% check the browser history of the children

Ultimately, it is important to keep all eyes and ears open online and offline – parents should also help watch out for each other’s kids as predators are devising more and more ways to get to their victims. Keep each other informed and in check!

 

Read next: 7 Last-minute School Holiday Activities Without Leaving KL

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Finding Dory hits the screen June 16 and if it’s anything like Finding Nemo, your kids’ next favourite character might just be a Blue Tang fish. Can’t wait till the movie is out? Well, you’re in luck! From 27 May till 19 June, the LG2 Blue Concourse will be transformed into a underwater spectacle with many activities for kids to participate in!

Help find Dory in the underwater maze, let your child try their artistic hand at the ARTopus Station, and help fish out trash at the Save The Ocean activity area! Click here for more info.

It’s the mid-year school holidays again, and unless you had a trip planned, chances are you’ll need options to keep your kids occupied. Here are 7 last-minute fun and educational activities that you can sign your kids up for, all without having to leave KL!

 

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Fun With Finding Dory

After 13 years, it’s finally here!

From 27 May till 19 June, the LG2 Blue Concourse will be transformed to a underwater spectacle with many activities for kids to participate in.

Help find Dory in the underwater maze, let your child try their artistic hand at the ARTopus Station, and help fish out trash at the Save The Ocean activity area!

Kids can also redeem the Finding Dory sticker book. All you have to do is register your child and collect stamps by completing all three exciting activities! Visit the Facebook page for more info.

When: 27 May – 19 June
Where: LG2 Blue Concourse, Sunway Pyramid
Suitable for: All
Cost: Free.

 

Beebop Circus Holiday Program

Everything from music, arts & crafts, dance, self-defence. Beebop Circus’ Holiday Program give you a selection of activities to keep your child busy.

When: 1 – 3 June 2016
Where: Jalan University, Petaling Jaya
Suitable for: Ages 3-6
Cost: Non-member RM320, Member RM290. Snacks and lunch provided.

Visit their Facebook page for details and registration info.

 

Islamic Arts Museum Weekend Workshop

Organised by the museum‘s Children’s Library, the weekend workshops is the perfect place for kids to explore and express their creativity. Featuring a different theme every week, the workshop begins with a storytelling session, followed by an art and craft session.

When: Every Saturday and Sunday
Where: Islamic Arts Museum, Jalan Lembah Perdana, 50480 KL
Suitable for: Ages 4 – 12
Time: 3pm – 4.30pm
Cost: Admission is free

Children below 6 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Click here for more info on what’s in store.

 

Knead To Play

Knead to Play specialises in creating art works with clay while providing a fun environment for your child.

When: Weekend workshops
Where: Bangsar
Suitable for: Ages 5+
Time: Please call
Cost: Please call

Get further details on upcoming workshops from their Facebook page.

 

Every weekend is awesome with Lego

Allow your children to learn, have fun and develop their minds through building LEGO bricks. Get your kids excited with space adventures in this upcoming workshop where they’ll learn to build a NASA space capsule, among others.

When: 9 & 10 June
Where: 10 Boulevard, PJ
Suitable for: Ages 4-10
Time: 10am – 1PM
Cost: RM220

Check their Facebook listing for details.

 

Best Chef Baking/Cooking Workshops

Just one of many activities hosted by Lara’s Place for your own Junior Masterchef in the baking (pun intended!). Choose from individual workshops for Banana Choc Chip Bread, Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie and many others, or sign up for the entire package of 5 workshops.

When: 2 – 10 June 2016
Where: Petaling Jaya
Suitable for: Ages 3+
Time: Check for details
Cost: RM60 per workshop or 5 workshops for RM280

Please check workshop details here.

 

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DiscoveryTech Kids June Holiday Camp

Learn future skills in a fun & exciting 4-day national bootcamp – coding for kids, 3D printing, Virtual Reality (VR), hologram, Augmented Reality (AR), 3D magic pen, Internet of Things (IoT) and more!

When: 8 – 11 June
Where: Dataran Prima, PJ
Suitable for: Ages 8 – 16
Time: 9am to 5pm
Cost: RM828 – RM1,988

Registration and details here.

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Looking for even more options? Mumsgatherfinds has a handy listing for a bunch of other activities.

Read this next – 12 Nurseries Inspired by Classic Kids Books. 

Nursery

There’s more to a nursery than filling the room with plushies and babyproofing the area. Don’t settle for the standard boy blue or girl pink nursery decorations; experiment and paint your walls in bright colour or keep it classy with vintage wallpaper. With a plethora of childrens’ books to draw inspiration from, the sky is the limit. Here’s our top 12 pick of nurseries inspired by classic kids books.

 

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Longing for a holiday but finding it financially difficult to fund one?

To help the wanderlust on places to go, Hotels.com brings you the 7 wonders of Malaysia. Discover the inner beauty of the country, where travellers can satisfy their senses with these iconic destinations.

Love food? What better way to tickle your taste buds than to indulge yourself in the endless varieties of local delicacies found in the city of Penang. From whole meals such as the famed Asam Laksa at Air Itam, to iconic desserts like the Penang Road Teochew Cendol, you’re bound to never go hungry here. Take a weekend off from the hustle and bustle of the city to discover the hidden treasures of Malacca’s humble town. Ride around town on a trishaw to enrich your mind with the stories that lie within famous historical structures such as the A Famosa Fort, Christ Church and the Malacca Chinese mosque.

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Arrange a mini getaway with your loved one to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy a romantic evening together watching the sunset. Sabah is not only world renowned as the diver’s paradise but was voted for the best scenic sunset view[1]. If you’re into discovering the true cultures of Malaysia, head over to the Sarawakian museum featuring displays of tribes and tattoos with no admission fee. Yes, you heard it, it’s free! Visit Johor Bahru for its significant royal architecture background. Standing tall in the city of Johor Bahru, the royal palace was built in 1866 by Sultan Abu Bakar where it overlooks the straits of Johor.

Known for some of the best tropical forests, take your pick to hike up any of Malaysia’s hills. The breath-taking waterfalls will be sure to make you fall in love with nature all over again. The well-known Sungai Pandan Waterfall, Sungai Berkelah Waterfall and the Jerangkang Waterfall’s picturesque view will definitely make for some Instagram-worthy posts. Get on a boat trip around Pulau Pangkor to see interesting beach wildlife. Spot a variety of crabs and monkeys scampering upon the shores of the islands. If you’re lucky, you may even see some of Malaysia’s beautiful endangered hornbills in their natural habitat.

 

Book by 30 May 2016 to enjoy discounts of up to 40%. All deals are valid for travel by 10 July 2016 on Hotels.com

 

Kota Kinabalu

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa – (5 stars)

Save 15% on your stay

Prices start from RM 924

 

Soluxe Hotel Kota Kinabalu – (4 stars)

Save 37% on your stay

Prices start from RM 161

 

Penang

PARKROYAL Penang Resort – (4.1 stars)

Save 30% on your stay

Prices start from RM 389

 

Hotel Sentral Seaview – (2.5 stars)

Save 25% on your star

Prices start from RM 145

 

Kuching

Hilton Kuching – (4.3 stars)

Save 35% on your stay

Prices start from RM 254

 

Abell Hotel Kuching – (3.6 stars)

Save 40% on your stay

Prices start from RM 131

 

* All prices and deals are correct as of 3 May 2016 but are subject to change. Terms and conditions apply; please see specific details for each hotel listed below by clicking at the hotel of your interest. Search with your preferred dates for travel to see the discounted rates for your stay. All prices listed do not include tax and fees. For more deals and information please visit www.hotels.com.

[1] http://www.amazingborneo.com