KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaganita programme coordinator Aegile Fernandez has described the death of 3-year-old Nur Izyan Natasya @ Aisyah Ishak as an unfortunate mistake. She said the blame did not fall on the father alone but on both parents as a child's safety was the responsibility of both.
"We read of such cases now and then. It was different those days when parents were more responsible and in tune with what was happening around them concerning their children," she said when contacted.
"Those days parents head-counted their children periodically when they went out but today's parents allow their children to wander on their own."
She said parents' concern over their children had declined over the years and parents seemed to be more absorbed in their own world with their children being taken care of by domestic help.
Former Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan said there have been cases overseas of parents being charged with negligence when children under their custody died.
He said although Malaysian law provided for this, there weren't many such cases here.
He urged parents to be more responsible towards their children and suggested those who failed to do so should be charged with criminal negligence.
On Sunday, Nur Izyan died after she was left in a car in the blazing sun with the windows shut for about 45 minutes while her father attended a funeral at Kampung Morak in Tumpat.
The youngest of six children had followed her father, Ishak Salleh, to the funeral of his cousin.
Nur Izyan was rushed to the Wakaf Bharu government clinic, and then to Tumpat Hospital, but died on the way to the hospital.
Women, Community and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said this incident was a reminder to all parents not to leave their child alone at any moment.
"It's difficult to assign blame in moments like these, especially to parents who have just lost a child. But these incidents should not and must not happen again."
-The Star/Asia News Network