It’s a sad week for Malaysia as citizens follow the case of baby Adam Rayqal, found lifeless in his babysitter’s freezer at her house. Many are angry at the sitter, understandably. However, many also question how she can care for him in the first place. Should the authorities step up enforcement? Should sitters be evaluated for mental health? Here are what some Malaysian parents are saying about child care services in Malaysia following the tragedy.
Netizens Weigh In
Netizen Nuraini Mohd Salleh feels that better legislative laws are needed, and that infant and child caregivers in Malaysia need to undergo training and obtain certification. She also hopes that Malaysian Member of Parliament Hannah Yeoh, as the newly appointed Deputy Minister of the Women, Family and Community Development ministry, will look into the matter. Nuraini especially hopes that Yeoh will be the voice of children’s rights and safety in Malaysia.
Another netizen expressed on social media the opinion that babysitters, kindergarten operators and teachers should be required to get their mental health checked. Noonsod Rawaulam expressed this in a post on Facebook. However, Noonsod does acknowledge that this might not be a practical solution, but parents hiring babysitters or sending their children to child care operators with such certification might have better peace of mind.
This sentiment is echoed by Nazita Ibrahim, also via social media. She and her friend hope that the government will look at qualifications and child care centre licensing.
Other social media users also stress on pre-interviews before hiring care givers, conducting of psychiatric tests, monitoring of mental health, and certification.
Even Malaysian actor Fizo Omar, who has a 6-month-old baby with his wife, Mawar Abdul Karim, has weighed in. On his Instagram account, Fizo suggests that Malaysian parents should be more wary when choosing to send their child to a home-based babysitter. However, he also acknowledges that some parents can be desperate for babysitters, especially mothers who have to work to supplement cost of living.