Don’t use kids to collect money, deputy minister tells schools

Deputy minister Hannah Yeoh says the law forbids the exploitation of children for the purposes of begging or asking for donations from the public.

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh today urged schools to stop instructing students to collect donations from the public, saying this should be the responsibility of the parent-teacher associations (PIBGs).

“If you want to carry out fundraising activities, the PIBG should be on it.

“Organise an event so that everyone can monitor the money (coming in). If it’s just through donations, how can we monitor it?” she told reporters in the Parliament lobby.

Her comments follow reports on an orphanage in Sungai Petani, Kedah, which was accused of exploiting 200 children to solicit funds from the public.

Pusat Jagaan Kanak-Kanak Cahaya Amal Bestari has since been closed down with its owners charged in court.

“We must stop using children by getting them to go to public places for the purpose of collecting money,” Yeoh said.

“And if you want to give (money), give it to a registered NGO.”

She said there are provisions under the Child Act 2001 that protect children from being exploited for the purpose of begging or asking for donations from the public.

“We see syndicates (organised by) adults that use children to beg, who are sometimes in their uniforms. Actually, all children cannot carry out begging.”

The Segambut MP also advised the public to be wary of syndicates or religious institutions or places of worship that use children to collect donations.

“Don’t use children to beg,” she said.