‘Govt will ensure adults in contact with kids screened thoroughly’

PUTRAJAYA: In light of baby Adam Rayqal Mohd Sufi’s death, the Govern­ment has called for the existing Child Registry to be improved where adults in contact with children must be subjected to stringent screening, says Hannah Yeoh.

“The ministry will propose to the Cabinet to improve the Child Act ... and will cover all offences including sexual crime, mental illnesses as well as police and court records,” said the Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister.

“This system will ensure that those who deal with children, such as babysitters, security guards at schools, school bus drivers, and tuition teachers, are subjected to stringent screening.”

She added that Malaysia would also work with international bodies, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), and study different models in countries with regards to this.

“I have already met with Unicef. We will push this as a Government priority and we hope we can make some changes within the next six months,” Yeoh said at a press conference at her ministry yesterday.

She also said the ministry was pushing for all government agencies to set up a child daycare centre at their premises by Jan 1.

Yeoh said at present there were 205 daycare centres at government agencies.

To encourage the private sector to do the same, Yeoh said the government gave incentives in the form of tax exemptions.

The body of Adam Rayqal, who was five months old, was found hidden in a refrigerator at his babysitter’s home in Taman Nakhoda in Batu Caves, Selangor.

The baby was initially thought to have been kidnapped, but after police found discrepancies in the babysitter’s statement, they raided her house and made the discovery.

The case is being investigated for murder.

In Kuala Terengganu, the baby’s grandfather, Mohd Pauzi Jusoh, 61, said Adam Rayqal was in their care for about a month.

“Even if they wanted to stay with us for a little while longer, we wouldn’t have said no.

“But we understand that he should be with his parents who are working in Klang Valley,” he said when contacted.

“It was shocking news for all of us because he was left with the babysitter for less than a week,” said Mohd Pauzi. “He was such a handsome boy. He was my first grandson.”

Adam Rayqal