Child abuse: Ministry recommends appropriate punishment for offenders

03 Sep 2023 04:40pm
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri. - Photo by Bernama
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri. - Photo by Bernama

KUCHING - Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) has proposed appropriate punishment for abusers under the Children's Commission Bill to be tabled in Dewan Rakyat in October.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said that as the entity responsible for safeguarding the interests of children, the bill must be implemented effectively and in line with the Child Act 2011 (Amendment) 2016.

"We want them (abusers) to be given a severe punishment even though (the implementation of the law) is not under us. We provide recommendations to the relevant parties and it is essential that there is an understanding between my ministry and the commission so that there is no overlap.

"(For example) those who are found abusing should be punished with whipping but there are parties who do not agree, so the proposal we put forward is not reckless because we had held a comprehensive discussion," she told reporters after the 'Segulai Sejalai’ Family Love Tour Programme, here, today.

Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 provides for a fine of not more than RM50,000 and 20 years imprisonment for any individual, parent or guardian found guilty of abusing, neglecting and mistreating a child.

The media had reported earlier that the bill to be presented by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Legal and Institutional Reform), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was drafted after various engagement sessions with stakeholders, knowledge exchange sessions and in-depth studies.

Regarding the 'Segulai Sejalai’ programme, Nancy said a total of 3,587 women in Sarawak had undergone breast cancer and cervical cancer (HPV DNA) screenings for this year as of Aug 22.

"So far, Sarawak has recorded 226 HPV-positive cases and, Alhamdulillah, so far zero pre-cancer cases and zero positive cancer cases," she said.

Related Articles:

Organised by the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), the programme provides awareness and HPV DNA screening services for the early detection of cervical cancer and registration of mammogram screening tests to detect breast cancer among women.

For this year, a total of 2,747 women underwent mammogram tests with 30 of them categorised as requiring follow-up checks while three tested positive for breast cancer. - BERNAMA