PUTRAJAYA: Parents and those working in childcare have been urged to make full use of the Child Sex Offenders Registry before hiring a babysitter.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said effective April 1, the public can visit any state Welfare Department (JKM) office and check if a potential babysitter has a prior record for child sexual offences.
"All they need to do is submit an MyKad number and the JKM can inform them if the owner of the MyKad has a record under the Child Act or not, free of charge.
“If the person has no record, the result will appear instantaneously. If there is a record, JKM will verify with the courts if the conviction is being appealed.
“I urge parents who want to hire babysitters or schools wanting to employ teachers to use this facility,” said Yeoh at a press conference after the launch of the child sex offenders registry search facility here Tuesday (March 27).
The launch was officiated earlier by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also the Women, Family and Community Development Minister.
Yeoh, however, warned parents that even if a potential babysitter does not have a prior sexual offences record, caution must still be exercised at all times.
She said based on records, most child sexual offenders are first-timers and also known to the child.
“In 2017 for example, out 314 cases of child sexual offences, 300 of them were committed by first-time offenders.
“So even if the individual does not have any record, he or she could still potentially commit the offence. Therefore, you must always be cautious of whoever you employ to look after your children,” said Yeoh.
The deputy minister said up to Feb 28, there were more than 3,000 names in the child sex offenders registry.