KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Three groups of individuals with information on child abuse are reminded to report it to the authorities or face imprisonment and fines if they fail to do so, said Deputy Women, Family and Development Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.
Azizah said the obligation was contained under the Child Act 2001 involving individuals comprising registered medical officers, family members and child minders.
She said under Section 27, 28 and 29 of the amended act, a registered medical practitioner or medical officer, any family members and child minder on reasonable grounds that the child has been physically or emotionally abused as a result of being tortured, neglected, abandoned, exposed or sexually abused must immediately notify the relevant parties.
“If they fail to report, they are liable to be convicted of imprisonment or fine (fine not exceeding RM5,000 or jail not exceeding two years or both),” she said during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat sitting here today.
She was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir (BN-Kulim Bandar Baharu) who wanted to know the channels that could be used by individuals such as teachers, doctors or child minders to report cases of child abuse to the authorities.
Azizah said members of the public who knew about incidents of child abuse were also asked to fulfill their social responsibility to report any child abuse either through the NUR line, Social Welfare Department or police even though they were not obliged to do so.
Replying to Abd Aziz’s original question on the total number of child abuse and statutory rape cases, Azizah said from 2015 until 2017, there were 1,107 cases of child abuse.
She said it showed an increase of 329 cases in 2015, 349 in 2016 and 429 last year recorded by the Royal Malaysia Police.
Meanwhile for statutory rape cases, she said 7,379 cases were recorded by the police for the same period which showed a decline of 2,704 cases in 2015, 2,453 cases in 2016 and 2,222 cases last year. — Bernama