Ministry cancels suspension of hotline for kids, domestic violence victims

Children are most vulnerable during this period, say Hannah Yeoh and Azalina Othman Said.

PETALING JAYA: The women, family and community development ministry has revoked the suspension of a hotline for children and victims of domestic violence following criticism and an appeal from its former deputy minister.

The “Talian Kasih” helpline was initially suspended in line with the movement control order, aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak, which came into effect today.

The order will be lifted on March 31.

In a statement, the minister, Rina Mohd Harun, said the helpline (15999 and 019 2615 999) will continue to address complaints related to women, family and community issues “24 hours, seven days a week”.

“The government has agreed to maintain the helpline, taking into account the needs of women, children, the elderly and the disabled,” she said.

Earlier today, former deputy minister Hannah Yeoh urged the ministry and the National Security Council to review the decision to discontinue the helpline.

She said this would help reduce emergency calls made to 999 or 112 and authorities could focus on security-related issues arising from the MCO.

“Talian Kasih should be seen as an essential service as it is during this period these groups are most vulnerable,” she said in a statement.

Former law minister Azalina Othman Said also slammed the decision.

In a tweet, she urged the ministry to work with the police to find an immediate solution.

“Children face increased vulnerability during the crisis,” Azalina said.