Lawmakers dispute ministry’s data on Talian Kasih

Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff is seen during an interview on TV3. — Picture via Instagram/sitizailahmohdyusoff
Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff is seen during an interview on TV3. — Picture via Instagram/sitizailahmohdyusoff

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Three MPs have challenged the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry’s (KPWKM) parliamentary response yesterday regarding social issues reported to its Talian Kasih.

Batu Kawan MP Kathuriraani Patho, Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and Merbok MP Nor Azrina Surip @ Nurin Aina said the information presented by Deputy Minister Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff was incomplete.

They also asked why Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun has not chaired a meeting of the Domestic Violence Committee since April.

Today, Kathuriraani said that Siti Zailah informed Parliament that 159,703 calls were made to Talian Kasih between January and November but only provided numbers for just half of these.

“Only 79,917 calls have been accounted for, what happened to the remainder 79,786?” she said in a statement.

She also said the deputy minister did not answer her question about sexual harassment complaints received and the progress on a proposed law on the topic.

“This sort of lackadaisical, ‘tidak-apa’ attitude is the reason why we hear of so many crimes against children, domestic violence and mental health issues on the rise and nothing robust, substantive and visionary from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

“These alarming numbers paired with a passive, half-hearted, spiritless leadership by Rina Harun and Siti Zailah is a recipe for disaster as global data will show that domestic violence, sexual violence against children, suicide attempts, mental health issues and online abuse, particularly against women is on the rise and will climb if practical solutions are not put in place,” Kasthuriraani added.

In a joint statement later, Nurul Izzah and Nor Azrina made similar criticisms about the incomplete information provided to Parliament.

Izzah and Nor Azrina also criticised Rina over the infrequency of the Domestic Violence Committee’s meetings, saying Siti Zailah’s response suggested that it has not met since April

“This means that for almost seven months from the last date of the meeting, no pro-active action was taken by KPWKM,” they said.

They criticised Rina over her ministry’s absence from the National Security Council that decided matters related to Covid-19 response, saying this meant social welfare issues were not brought to its attention.

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