WHEN it comes to corporal punishment for schoolchildren, some are for it, others against it. The Children’s Court, however, has the power to cane naughty children. As a Children’s Court advisor, I can tell you that children can be caned in Malaysia, though we try not to.
They can be caned under Section 92 of the Children’s Act 2001, subject to the following stipulations:
·the child shall be examined by a medical officer to certify that the child is in a fit state of health to undergo the whipping;
·the person shall use a light cane with average force without lifting his hand over his head so that the child’s skin is not cut;
·after inflicting a stroke, he shall lift the cane upward and not pull it;
·whipping may be inflicted on any part of the body except the face, head, stomach, chest or private parts;
·the child shall wear clothes; and if,
·during the execution of the whipping, the medical officer certifies that the child is not in a fit state to undergo the remainder of the whipping, the whipping shall be finally stopped.
If we apply the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN assembly in 1989 – that a child has civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights – we should be convinced that caning must go. It has no place in civic society today, Malaysia included.
Seeing that Malaysia is one of the 193 countries that has ratified the convention, we should see the caning of young offenders as a thing of the past
And perhaps amend the clause in the Child Act which allows for caning.