The government is looking into the Child Act 2001, whereby action can be taken towards parents who neglect a child in his or her care or exposed in a manner likely to cause the child’s physical or emotional injury. According to Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh, there was a rising number of cases involving the death of children especially those who were not vaccinated.
According to Section 31(1)(a) Child Act 2001, any person who has in his or her care a child that is being neglected, abandoned or exposed the child in a manner likely to cause him/her physical or emotional injury can be fined not exceeding RM20,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or both.Source: NST
Hannah Yeoh reiterates that the government will look into taking action against parents who do not want to vaccinate their children. There are provisions in the Child Act for cases of neglect especially if there are death cases involved.
“We need to start looking into taking action against parents who do not want to vaccinate their children. We not only care about the health of their children but also the well-being of other children.
“The doctors have highlighted that there are provisions in the Child Act if there is a neglect.. and this is a clear sign because there are death cases and what are we waiting for?”Source: Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh, NST
A recent case reported last month, involving the death of a 25-month old boy due to infection while five children which were believed to have been in contact with the boy are now being quarantined in Aminah Hospital.
A 25-month old boy died two days ago here, believed to have been due to diphtheria infection, said Health director-general Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah. He said the child was never given any immunisation since birth and had begun to develop fever, cough and swollen tonsils on February 16.End QuoteSource: Malay Mail
NST reported that the Immunise4Life Chairman Prof Datuk Dr Zulkifli said a parent can be taken into action if something is not done to protect the child. Dr Zulkifli also said that unimmunised children had a high risk of being infected with harmful diseases such as diphtheria and measles.
“If something is not done to protect the child (preserving their health), and that child is affected (by dangerous illness), we can take action on the parents,”Source: Immunise4Life Chairman Prof Datuk Dr Zulkifli, NST
In relation to the vaccine issue, Jakim will assist the Health Ministry to formulate policy from the ‘fatwa’ perspective, pertaining to vaccinations for children and would help explain it to the public as some parents viewed vaccines to contain non-halal elements. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh said while recognising parents’ right, it is important to look at the bigger picture as it will affect others.
“We recognise their rights as parents but when we look at the bigger picture when the children (are not vaccinated) they may not be protected from some diseases and can spread it to others.”Source: Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh, NST