April 24, 2008 23:01 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Bernama) — The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is taking the claim by certain quarters that there are half million street children in the country, seriously.
What is more disturbing is their claim that most of the children were born and raised by their sex-worker mothers and exposed to an immoral environment.
Its minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said that most of the children were from Sabah.
However, the number had not been verified, she said.
"We will conduct research to find out whether the claim is true," she told reporters after officiating at the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti) annual general meeting, at the Bakti building in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, here Thursday.
Dr Ng said the study would be conducted as soon as possible because it was a huge challenge for the ministry to find a solution to the problem.
"The research, among others, will identify the children’s origin and whether they are Malaysian citizens or not," she added.
Apart from that, Dr Ng said the ministry would also try to find out the number of children with no identification document.
"This is very important. (If) they do not own a birth certificate, they cannot go to school, cannot apply for identity card and when they grow up, they will be a burden to the government because they will not get hired."
Dr Ng said that her ministry would also look into the reasons for the parents to abandon their children.
On sex workers’ children, Ng said she was upset when the children were left outside the rooms where their mothers worked.
"Since the children are ‘our children’, the ministry has established a Child Protection Centre to care for the children while their mothers go to work," she said, adding that one such centre was established in Chow Kit.
Also present at the AGM was the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah.