Rapist’s return to Malaysia from Canada sparks calls for sex offender registry

Selva SubbiahThere’s a growing clamour for creation of a sex offender registry in Malaysia, with the return to that country of serial rapist Selva Subbiah (inset), according to media reports from Malaysia. Subbiah, a remorseless and unrepentant predator who may be Canada’s most prolific rapist, was deported after completing a 24-year prison sentence for 75 crimes, including 26 sexual assaults against more than 30 victims. His sentence expired on January 29, 2017. Investigators believe he may have assaulted more than 1,000 women. He was flown to Malaysia on Monday, February 6, under guard. 

A report in the Malaysian Times reveals that authorities are scrambling to figure out how to allay public fears while keeping tabs on a sexual predator who was assessed by Canadian authorities as a high risk to commit more violent sex crimes.

Other lawyers who agree said that the authorities should use the electronic monitoring device provided under POCA (Prevention of Crime Act) 1959 and POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) 2015. Lawyer Mohd Kamarul Arifin Mohd Wafa understood that POCA and POTA were to fight gangsterism and terrorism, but said they should be extended to include the effort to stop serial rape “especially if this is what society is asking for.”

The government itself seems to be leaning towards the creation of a sex offenders registry.

The Women, Family and Community Development said in a media statement on Sunday that there was an urgent need to speed up the creation of such a registry to monitor the movements of convicted sex criminals after their release.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed had also called for such a registry for people to know if such an offender was residing in their neighbourhood.

Subbiah was detained in prison in Canada until he had served every day of his sentence because he was deemed too dangerous for early freedom. His parole records (available on Cancrime) noted that he continued to “demonstrate manipulative behaviour” behind bars, and, disturbingly, he insisted that many of the women who charged him “had lied in order to receive attention or monetary advantage.”

While it may look like Canada has dumped its problem on another country, Subbiah was long present illegally in Canada. He came to the country in 1980 on a three-month student visa that wasn’t renewed until 1983. The student visa was renewed multiple times but, in the meantime, Subbiah stole the identity of a Canadian, Richard Wild, and began masquerading as that man so that he could seek out sex assault victims while posing as a model talent scout or film producer. He Subbiah did not obtain permanent residency and was long ago declared a danger to society and subject to deportation. Subbiah eluded authorities by using fraudulent identity documents and multiple addresses. Below are photos of some of the documents found by police after Subbiah was arrested in Toronto in 1991.

» One of the police officers who caught Subbiah explains how they ensnared him, in this podcast

» All coverage of Subbiah’s case


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