Following the harrowing case of the alleged abuse of the 13-year-old girl, Bella, who has down syndrome, Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ), HRH Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim has met with the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, YB Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun to share suggestions on how to prevent such incidents from happening again.
Also in attendance were UNICEF Representative to Malaysia, Amanda Bissex, and chairman of Johor Woman, Family and Community Development, YB Puan Hajah Khairin-Nisa Ismail. They met at the Royal Johor Polo Club.
In a social media posting, HRH shared the suggestions that he believes should be done to ensure that cases like Bella’s do not happen again.
Here are his ideas:
“An enhancement on the current laws, such as the Child Act 2001, is needed immediately. This should include aspects of child centre registrations, accreditation, assessment, funding and monitoring to ensure that all operators are operating legally with a sense of public service,” he wrote.
“The Social Welfare Department (JKM) needs to audit all existing approved childcare centres and quickly close any childcare centres that are not registered with JKM or operating illegally starting with Johor immediately,”
“Legal action should also be taken against the operators and owners of any illegally run establishments,” he added.
Research and Transparency
“An immediate study also needs to be done on the conditions of child care centres starting in Johor, commissioned together with guidelines from UNICEF and other independent institutions,”
“The findings of this study should be made public.”
He added that he will not allow his suggestions to be passed over.
“I will ensure that the suggested improvements are taken seriously and carried out immediately,”
“I would like to stress that the welfare of children, especially those in shelter homes should always be protected and well taken care of,” he emphasised.
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