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Act now to protect our kids from violence
WITH reference to your story on an innocent child raped and another molested in broad daylight, Childline Malaysia and our partner link organisation, which are setting up Malaysia’s first non-profit 24-hour dedicated child helpline, are dismayed at the escalation of such crimes.
This is unacceptable and we must take charge now and take action to put a stop to such acts of violence against children.
We want to see immediate justice and the harshest punishment possible for such perpetrators in the interest of all. Children by nature are very vulnerable and they have rights to protection and care from people entrusted to care for them – parents, care providers, teachers and others in the community.
We urge parents and parent-teacher associations to insist that school bus drivers or anyone who provides transport services for children must have an assistant at all times. Parents have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their children by taking extra care to check out the background of people to whom they have entrusted to care for their children.
The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry must take immediate steps to implement the National Child Protection Policy and its related Plan of Action in order that every community or organisations has a child protection policy and strategies in place. These strategies include compulsory screening for all persons who work with or care for children and strengthening of support systems for children who need counselling, rehabilitation and long-term care.
We want the full force of the law to be taken against the perpetrators. This means that the police and justice system must act swiftly and competently so that another child does not suffer the same fate.
We need to send a strong message that enough is enough! We will not tolerate such acts of violence against our children. We also call upon the Prime Minister and relevant ministries to place protection of our children as a key part of the National Key Result Areas.
We need political will to put into place preventive measures to reduce such crimes. Surely, the situation warrants the same attention given to snatch thefts and vehicle thefts.
Let us invest in protecting our children now before it’s too late. We thank The Star for highlighting such cases. Let us stand up for our children and say “No” to violence against them.