Written by Richard Wee and Roshaan Ramu


On the 7th of January 2023, the Independent commission for the protection of children was proposed by Azalina Othman Said, the Law and institutional reform minister in order to safeguard the rights and to avoid crimes against children. The commission will also seek to tackle neglect and abuse, as well as social issues involving children

Despite the existence of SUHAKAM, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission for children, establishing an independent commission for younger children seems to be just right and it would provide a hand in helping to raise awareness of children facing any sort of injustice. 

Although there are existing government bodies and written statutes to safeguard children, there might be loopholes in regards to religious matters of a child, welfare or even the safety of a child. With the establishment of this independent commission, these loopholes could be curved. 

It has also been highlighted by Azalina Othman Said, children who’ve been abused have not gotten justice due to them being returned to the custody of their abusers, which would then allow perpetrators to be free as their case could be withdrawn. The term ‘independent’ shall mean that the commission is to work independently, have its own objectives and agendas, without the government being involved.

Progression of the proposed commission

In December 2022, Nancy Shukri, the Women, Family and Community Development Minister stated that the proposal for establishing a special contingency was presented at a Cabinet meeting and this matter shall be looked at before making any decisions.

It is common for countries to establish independent commissions to protect the rights and welfare of children. These commissions often have mandates to investigate and address issues such as child abuse, neglect, and exploitation and to make recommendations in order to improve the lives of children within the jurisdiction of Malaysia.

The establishment of this commission had further progressed as Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim himself pointed out that the Cabinet did agree to establish this independent commission. In efforts to properly organise such a commission, Prime Minister Anwar stated that Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi will chair a social committee to further indulge into various problems often faced by children.

Published on 8 February 2023



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