Child Act to be amended to allow setting up of registry of child sex offenders

Nor Ain Mohamed Radhi

KUALA LUMPUR: The Women, Family and Community Development Minstry is seeking to amend the Child Act to allow automatic Child Registry of child sex offenders. Its deputy minister Hannah Yeoh said currently upon request from schools or care centres to check the list, the Welfare Department will have to write to the court and police to get feedback. “This process is very time consuming. Therefore, we are seeking to amend the Act to ensure more comprehensive registry by allowing automatic child registry of children sex offenders,” she said, in reply to a supplementary question by Senator Datuk Ng Chiang Chin. Yeoh said currently the registry has only about 300 sex offenders’ names, and the names were added manually into the courts and police data system. Yeoh said the ministry was hoping that in future the registry would include the background of those transporting children and tuition teachers, among others. Ng had asked the ministry’s plan to fully utilise the Child Act to ensure child sex offenders do not get close to children at childcare centres or schools.

Meanwhile, answering the initial question by Ng, Yeoh said 1,483 cases of child abuse by babysitters were recorded since 2013 to date. “From 2013 to June this year, 29 deaths were recorded at child

care centres reported to the Welfare Department, with 13 cases at registered childcare centres, and 16 at unregistered childcare centres. “From 2013 to July 2018, a total of 27 deaths of children at babysitters’ homes were reported to the police.” Ng had asked on the number of cases of children being abused and beaten which resulted in death from 2013 to 2018. Yeoh said the ministry was also seeking to amend the Child Care Centre Act 1984. She said the proposed amendment would ensure better supervision of babysitters taking care of less than four children. Currently, any babysitter who is looking after four or more children must register with the Welfare Department. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd