About 100,000 cases of teenage pregnancy under 19 years of age have been reported since 2011 until now, said Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh.
During the same period, there were also about 900 cases of abandoned babies, she said.
“Of the 900 reported cases of abandoned babies, only 30 per cent of the babies were still alive. As such, the government will be implementing various measures to tackle this problem, “ she said.
Speaking to reporters after appearing as a guest on the talkshow 'The Nation' on Bernama News Channel at Wisma Bernama here today, she said efforts to tackle the problem include working with the Education Ministry to improve the syllabus of sex education in schools for students from the age of 13.
“At present, it is known as Physical and Health Education. The syllabus for sex education was first taught to students at the age of 15, but based on statistics from the Health Ministry, girls and boys as young as 13 years were already involved in undesired activities,” she said.
She said parents must also play their part in monitoring their children’s activities in and outside their homes as they had access to the outside world through their smartphones and the internet.
Yeoh who is also Segambut Member of Parliament said her ministry was also in the process of identifying hotspots of cases and waiting to get the mapping from the police as well as sharing data from other ministries in order to implement more effective measures.
“We are still waiting for information from the police because this mapping and data sharing is very important to identify the hotspots, whether in rural or urban areas. If it is in the cities, are they in the low-cost areas or luxury homes,” she said.
On a separate development, Yeoh said so far 191 names have been checked on the Registry System for Sexual Offenders against Children (eDKK) which was introduced last month.
She said the checks were free-of-charge to allow individuals or organisations which manage children to find out the sexual criminal records of their staff or potential workers such as childminders or kindergarten teachers.