KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — Government agencies have been urged to work with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to conduct more awareness campaigns for parents and guardians on legal action can be taken against those who are negligent and leave their children without proper supervision.
Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the group needed to be given more exposure to the offence which could be prosecuted under Section 33 of the Child Act 2001, as many were still unaware of the existence of the law.
“For example, in western countries, if parents are found guilty of exposing their children to risk due to neglect, they will definitely be imprisoned.
“Malaysia needs to see to what extent the effectiveness of the act is enforced as accidents involving children or minors continue to occur unabated,” he told Bernama recently.
Lee said this when asked to comment on parents and guardians who did not monitor their children’s movements until they were involved in accidents such as legs being stuck on escalators and ‘basikal lajak’ (modified bicycles) issue.
Section 33 of the Child Act 2001 stipulates that legal action can be taken against parents and guardians for leaving their children without reasonable supervision which could result in a fine not exceeding RM20,000 or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both, if convicted.
Meanwhile, crime analyst Kamal Affendi Hashim said the failure of parents to monitor their children’s movements and insensitive to their child’s condition was a real tragedy that needed to be addressed.
“Parents should always hold their children’s hands while using the escalator, but instead, each of them is busy with their own affairs, especially using their mobile phones.
“Parents need to monitor their children’s movements and see what activities they do. This all helps reduce the risk of children being involved in unexpected activities while maintaining their safety,” he said.