PETALING JAYA: A law lecturer has called on members of the public to lodge a police report if they witness a child being physically, mentally or emotionally abused in public.
Speaking to FMT, Zuraini Ab Hamid, an academic with the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), said people had the right to take such action as they had a responsibility to save children from danger or harm.
This comes after a video showing a father hitting his child with a stroller at a shopping mall went viral. The incident is believed to have taken place overseas.
Zuraini said people needed to change their attitude from just sharing such videos on social media and instead, give the videos to the authorities as evidence.
“There is a lot that people can do in such situations, among them, is stopping the abuser from continuing abusing the child and recording it for the authorities’ reference.
“A failure to report a crime to the police is punishable under Section 202 of the Penal Code with a jail term of up to six months or a fine or both.”
She said people could also lodge a report with the Welfare Department as it was an offence under the Child Act 2001 for a guardian of a child to physically and emotionally abuse them.
“This includes abuses carried out by the child’s parents or guardians, it does not matter if it is in the open or in public as it is a clear offence under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001.”
She said many parents resorted to force when disciplining their children but this was not an acceptable excuse as such acts could harm the child.