KOTA KINABALU: The death of a 12-year-old caddy in Keningau has been the talk of the town as questions are being raised on how such a young girl could have been hired for the job.
“An underage person should not be allowed to work, let alone do something which requires a large amount of strength such as caddying,” said social activist Datuk Patrick Sindu.
He said golf club operators should be more aware of the people they hire and the safety measures in their workplace.
Furthermore, it was not easy to carry around a golf set, he added.
On Jan 31, the 12-year-old caddy was hit in the neck by a golf ball.
The girl, whose parents are Filipino migrant workers, had apparently been working as a caddy for about two years.
Another social activist, S.M. Muthu, said country or golf clubs were bound by rules and regulations.
“Where a player and his caddy stands during a game has to follow certain rules. The player as well as the golf club operator must be strict in implementing them,” he said.
He said they should adhere to the safety measures at the golfing range because the sport could be risky if its rules were not followed.
Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group president Winnie Wee said it was not right to have a child caddy.
“How can you hire a child to be your caddy? Even if the child may want to do it as a hobby or to earn extra income, you should consider the safety aspects and not allow a child or anyone to be at risk,” she said.
However, golfers here said it was common to see child caddies in golf clubs around Sabah.
Amateur golfer Tommy Lee said he had seen many child caddies here.
“Some of the child caddies ask for a part-time job especially during weekends. I don’t know why they are allowed in at all,” he said.
Golfer Carl Moosom said the tragedy should be an eye-opener that no child should be allowed to work as a caddy.