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Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 7:52:14 AM
MALACCA: Police have the power to interrogate children without the permission or presence of their parents or guardian in cases involving the Criminal Procedure Code, said a minister.
However, in cases investigated under the Child Act 2001 by police through the Sexual Abuse and Child Investigation Department (D11), the child should be interrogated in the presence of the welfare officer, parents or guardian, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim.
“My ministry works closely with D11 in closely monitoring the welfare of these children.
“The officers from this division have been specially trained to handle such cases.
“The public should not be unduly worried as whatever case is being investigated, whether involving the Criminal Procedure Code or Child Act, we at the ministry will ensure that the children’s welfare is safeguarded,” she told reporters after visiting the Malacca Urban Transformation centre yesterday.
She was asked to comment on the statement by Bar Council’s Constitutional Law Committee chairman and human rights advocate Edmund Bon, who suggested that parents sue the police if their child under 18 years of age was interrogated by the police without their presence.
Bon in a news portal on Sept 5 was also reported to have said that police had violated Section 113 of the Child Act by questioning pupils of SK Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh, Selangor over the controversy of pupils having to eat in the school’s changing room.
Rohani, however, said that the Section stated by Bon had nothing to with the case investigated by the police as it did not fall under the Child Act.
“Section 113 of the Child Act only applies to offences under this Act, not other Acts. So far, we don’t have clear facts under what law the investigation was conducted but it was definitely not under the Child Act,” she said.
On another note, Rohani urged women who have been discriminated against by their employers or denied employment because they wear the tudung (headcover) to report the matter to any agency under her ministry.
“If the complaint is true, we will not hesitate to bring up the case to the Attorney-General for legal action to be taken.
“In fact, the Attorney-General’s Chambers has a special unit to handle cases of discrimination against women,” she said. — Bernama
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Family & Community, Rohani Abdul Karim
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