Materia Medica Malaysiana

November 11, 2007

Act to make all docs report abuse

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:12 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: As part of its increased efforts to curb child abuse, the government plans to widen the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse under the Child Act 2001.
“At present, it is only mandatory for government medical officers and child minders to make a report if there are signs a child has been abused.
“An amendment will also cover private medical practitioners, teachers and non-governmental organisations linked to the welfare of children,” said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
She added that the amendments would be tabled in parliament by the end of this year or early next year, after the tabling of the new Disabled Persons Act.
A Child Protection Policy that promoted child-safe and child-friendly environments would also be submitted to the cabinet this year, she said.
She was speaking at the 53rd national Children’s Day celebration, organised by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.
Some 2,000 guests attended the celebration, opened by the prime minister’s wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah.
Shahrizat said the government would get tough with those who “are careless and neglect the safety and protection of children”.
“We have been very sensitive in dealing with such cases, but from now on we are going to get tough,” she said, adding that cases of child abuse and mishandling had increased from just over 1,600 in 2004 to nearly 2,000 last year.
The child abuse and neglect cases reported include physical, sexual or emotional abuse, incest and abandoning of babies.
Jeanne said the deaths of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, Ooi Ying Ying and Preeshena Varshiny were reflective of the dangers that existed in the world today.
She added the theme for this year — Safety and Protection of Children is our Priority — was apt, given the issues at hand.
“Let us not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear when we see a child in trouble. It is not solely the duty of the police, but everyone’s responsibility to ensure the safety of our children,” she said.
Jeanne also presented the Hang Tuah Award for bravery to 11-year-old Muhammad Zulfahmi Zuraidi who saved his two younger brothers from their burning home last year.
The award carries a cash prize of RM5,000.
On June 17, his parents had left him in charge of his two brothers, then aged 6 and 7. He smelled something burning and went into the boys’ room to find their beds on fire.
Muhammad Zulfahmi’s first reaction was to try and douse the flames with pails of water.
But he soon realised that he would not be able to save his home, and picked up the two boys and fled. The house was razed and the family of five lost all their belongings.
“We lost all our belongings, but my parents and I are glad that we are all safe,” said Muhammad Zulfahmi.

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