Negligent parents could face the law, warns deputy minister

Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Hannah Yeoh, speaks to reporters after a forum in Kuala Lumpur January 10, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Hannah Yeoh, speaks to reporters after a forum in Kuala Lumpur January 10, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KULAI, March 5 — The government today warned that parents who are careless with their children or neglect them can land themselves in trouble with the law.

Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister, Hannah Yeoh said the Child Act 2001 provided for action be taken against parents for being negligent or neglectful of their children.

“Do not ever neglect your children, for example, by leaving them unattended in the house for one or two days as this could be fatal.

“It has also become a trend for parents to leave their children in the car, for instance, to top up their Touch ‘n Go card. Do not leave your child in the car alone even for five minutes because it’s dangerous,” she said when met by reporters after officiating at the Johor state-level Women’s Day 2019 celebration, here, today.

Also present at the event were state Women’s Development and Tourism Committee chairman, Liow Cai Tung and chairman of the Charitable Association of Wives of Johor Government Elected Representatives (Jasmine), Datin Nora Mohd Som. 

Yeoh’s statement was in reference to the incident where a seven-year-old girl was left alone in a house with the doors locked in Taman Hijrah, Kangar, Perlis, since last Wednesday.

She said there was element of neglect in this case and the girl was now under the care of the Social Welfare Department.

“As this case is still under police investigation, I do not wish to comment further on who is at fault,” she added.

On the new guideline on handling cases involving individuals with autism, including by the police, Yeoh said there were certain standard operating procedures being considered.

She said the People with Special Needs Division in the Social Welfare Department and the police had held discussions and were holding workshops to improve the SOP on handling cases involving this group. — Bernama