Malaysia has been taking some recent steps to help improve the lives for Malaysians. The standout initiative would be the recent launch of the ‘Child Sex Offenders’ registry by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) which would allow parents to perform simple background screening to help identify suspicious childcare providers and ensure that their children do not fall into the wrong hands.
The initiative is long overdue, as many parents have had to engage teachers, nannies, bus drivers and other childcarers based on trust alone, without any way to provide assurance of safety.
Aligned with this thinking, Verity Intelligence also recently launched a new background screening portal called Verity Plus Online to help employers, homeowners and most importantly, parents find out who they have as their employees, partners and other types of characters in their environment.
These developments in both the government and private front shows will greatly benefit the country, however, the current version of the child sex offender registry has its downsides.
The child sex offender registry currently only holds an approximate number of 3000 paedophiles and while the results are shared instantly, applicants seeking information would need to have the checks done at the department’s state office physically. An alternative is to go to the department district office, but it will take five working days to produce the results. Thus, applying to get the screening done does require some physical legwork.
Another disadvantage is the limited amount of names in the registry as it only covers those convicted, meaning those that are suspected, reported or investigated for paedophilia are not included.
How can the KPWKM curb these issues to ensure accessibility and make sure that these factors aren’t a deterrent towards the use of its registry? Perhaps they don’t have to pursue this issue alone.
Collaborations with industry partners like Verity Intelligence can greatly enhance their efforts in improving the public’s access to the registry and help improve their ability to identify more potential perpetrators from being in the lives of Malaysian children.
Increased tie-ups between government and private organisations can bring together a variety of talents and experts to deal with the issue at hand. Issues like accessibility can be dealt with through shared resources and infrastructure support from the private sector.
Such collaborations can also help facilitate the exchange of information and data to help ensure that the registry’s data does not only come from one source, but multiple credible sources to ensure that registry is able to be strengthened.
As the country is moving toward building a stronger and safer nation for all, the government should also take into consideration the potential contributions private companies have to offer to the country.
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