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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Wan Azizah, Yeoh want better protection for children after death of 7-year-old

 

PKR’s Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and DAP’s Hannah Yeoh say women, family and community development ministry should employ more child protectors.

PETALING JAYA: Two prominent women MPs have demanded Putrajaya do more to protect children following the death of a seven-year-old boy in Melaka recently.

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who was the women, family and community development minister under the former Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, and her then deputy Hannah Yeoh, warned that the current movement control order (MCO) would affect families, urging the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to focus on protecting the welfare of children.

In a joint statement, they urged the government to make use of the National Security Council (MKN)’s text message platform to raise awareness on the Talian Kasih helpline, which receives reports of domestic violence.

They pointed out that the helpline had already been expanded to Whatsapp, giving greater access for victims or witnesses to report incidents of abuse.

They also called for the women, family and community development ministry to employ more child protectors and train current officers from time to time.

“In 2019, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) conducted an audit on the welfare department and, among others, advised for more child protectors to be added to meet the needs of addressing children’s issues,” they said.

Wan Azizah and Yeoh also called for improvements to be made to pre-marriage courses by making the topic of parenting compulsory.

“This is to prevent parents from neglecting their responsibilities,” they said.

A seven-year-old boy died in Taman Krubong Jaya on Friday after he was believed to have been abused by his mother and stepfather. His 32-year-old mother and stepfather, 38, have been detained for questioning.

The child allegedly drowned in a water tub in his house in the 4pm incident, but preliminary investigations found physical injuries on the victim’s body.

He had previously been under the care of foster parents since he was a baby, but his biological mother had expressed her desire to take him back late last year.

During the first MCO last year, the women, family and community development ministry said calls to the Talian Kasih helpline had increased by 57% during the lockdown. - FMT

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