KUALA KANGSAR: Nurin Jazlin Jazimin’s parents could be hauled up for negligence following her abduction and murder – an offence punishable under Child Act 2001, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz.
However, there have been howls of protest over any such move, as there is no clear definition of negligence.
“The law is still the law. We have to act ... no one can be exempted,” Nazri said after handing over RM100,000 worth of zakat (tithe) from Amanah Raya Bhd to the needy at the breaking of fast at Taman Kuala Kangsar on Saturday.
He was commenting on a statement by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan that police would investigate if Nurin Jazlin’s parents had been negligent.
On Aug 20, eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin went missing and was later found dead in Petaling Jaya on Sept 17.
Her body was stuffed inside a sports bag which was left in the staircase of a shoplot in Taman Petaling Utama, Petaling Jaya.
A post-mortem report showed that the killer had sexually violated her.
Nazri, who is Padang Rengas MP, said he was deeply saddened by the tragedy.
“The killer must be brought to court and punished,” he said.
Under Section 33 of the Act, parents or guardians found guilty of leaving their child, can be fined a maximum of RM5,000 or jailed no more than two years or both.
Musa had said that while there was a provision under the law to charge negligent parents, it had never been invoked.
Members of the public, however, voiced their objection to any legal action against parents.
Some people interviewed said it would be impossible to keep tabs on children all the time, especially for those who had to go out to work.
They also wanted the authorities to clearly define the meaning of negligence to avoid parents being victimised.
Civil servant Nur Hidayat Shafie, 48, said she was against the proposal for fear of its negative effects on society.
“If parents are charged, what is going to happen to their children? To me, parents always do their level best in moulding and educating their children,” she said.
A private sector employee, Nor Apni Safri, 23, said parents should be given counselling and guidance rather than be dragged to court.