Child Registry use can’t be forced, says Rohani

According to Rohani, the government’s hands are tied where it concerns compelling employers to perform mandatory checks on potential employees in jobs involving children. — Picture by Farhan Najib
According to Rohani, the government’s hands are tied where it concerns compelling employers to perform mandatory checks on potential employees in jobs involving children. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 ― Not much can be done by the government to ensure the full use of the Child Registry, which has since January included the database of child offenders, due to limited power in enforcing its usage.

Women, Family and Community Development minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the ministry was only able to encourage potential employers to utilise the registry but could not make it a mandatory requirement.

On Tuesday, Malay Mail reported activists calling for loopholes in the registry to be plugged, which includes making checks on potential employees mandatory and enforceable, and barring those on the list from being hired.

The ministry had said the registry was not being fully utilised as there was limited advocacy and awareness, and that some employers do not see the importance behind conducting checks against their potential employees.

“We don’t have the power to ban (those on the list from being hired), but we can only advise employers what they should do.

“Even so, if an employer finds a potential employee to be really good and wants to hire them despite knowing the person has a past record, we can’t interfere,” Rohani after the launch of the Malaysia’s first mobile based child tracking kit, TraqKid, at Royal Lake Club yesterday.

She said the selling point in promoting the use of the registry is that it is free, adding the ministry will continue to intimate to employers to utilise the service on upcoming roadshows as part of advocacy and awareness initiatives to promote the registry.

“As a responsible employer, you should take that extra step because it does not even cost you anything.

“I will continue reminding employers to make use of it. Otherwise, what is the point of amending the Act to facilitate employers but under utilised at the end of the day,” she said.

The Child Act (Amendment) 2016 was amended in July last year, and included the registry of child offenders to help employers run a background check on their potential employees.

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