Report: Ministry seeking to streamline sex offenders registry

Reena Raj
Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh says the ministry is working to enhance the efficiency to streamline the sex offenders’ registry. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is working to enhance the efficiency in recording sex offenders in its official registry, said Hannah Yeoh.

The deputy minister said this include amending the Child Act to permit the automatic registration of sex offenders in the Child Registry so that this may be more easily checked, according to the New Straits Times.

Presently, the Welfare Department must contact the judiciary and police when it receives a vetting request from schools or child care centres, Yeoh explained.

“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 question by Senator Datuk Ng Chiang Chin.

Yeoh said the registry now only has about 300 registered offenders that had to be manually recorded using data from the judiciary and police databases.

Ng earlier suggested for the ministry to extend the vetting to more occupations coming into contact with children, such as transport providers as well as private tutors.

Yeoh also disclosed that 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.”

She added that her ministry also aimed to amend the Child Care Centre Act 1984 to restrict caregivers to no more than four wards each and to register those looking after four or more children.

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