Three months on, Parliament told deputy minister, Utusan Malaysia still under investigation for exposing identity of murder victim’s child

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 25 — The Home Ministry is still waiting for a decision on whether or not legal action will be taken against Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff and Utusan Malaysia, who revealed the name and published a picture of an underaged child of a murder victim back in August.

In a written parliamentary reply to Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching today, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said the case classified under Section 15 of the Child Act 2001 is now with the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).

“The case is still under investigation and investigation papers have been referred to the AGC for advice and further instructions,” Hamzah wrote.

The minor is the child of a woman who was strangled to death with her headscarf, allegedly by her 41-year-old husband, in a car at Putra Perdana, Dengkil on July 29, just two days before Hari Raya Aidiladha.

Teo had asked if Siti Zailah would be investigated for her exposing the identity of the child on the deputy minister’s Instagram account.

The post was later deleted after Siti Zailah came under fire from Pakatan Harapan. The defensive deputy minister said the child’s full face had not been revealed as the latter was wearing a face mask as per health regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Malay newspaper Utusan Malaysia had published a photo showing the deputy minister together with the child as well as named the minor in its front page report on August 5.

Section 15 of the Child Act forbids revealing the identity of a minor through any form of publication or media. Those found guilty can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail, fined up to RM10,000, or both.

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