MALACCA - A two-year-old, thought to be a toyol (child spirit), turned out to be a boy who was abandoned.
The boy was alone, frightened and hungry, when a construction worker found him at about 4am at a petrol station in Jalan Tun Perak on Monday.
Earlier, he was caught on camera and the photograph of him went viral on WhatsApp with comments that the ghoulish image was that of a toyol.
But Rizdwandean Razali, 27, did not believe it when he saw the boy while on his way home to Ayer Keroh.
The boy was standing at the entrance of the petrol station. Many who saw the boy did not dare to approach him.
"I stopped to help but several motorcyclists warned me about getting close to the boy whose eyes were swollen. They thought it was a toyol.
"But as I got near him, I found that he was crying and calling out mama, mama," Rizdwandean said.
Rizdwandean gave the boy a packet of chicken rice and a bottle of water.
"He couldn't tell me where he was from or his parents and I decided to hand him over to the police," he said adding that he made a report at the Ayer Keroh station.
Melaka Tengah OCPD Supt Razali Bakar said the boy was identified as Mohd Faqhrul Radzee who was left with his neighbour after his 31-year-old mother was detained on June 21 for possession of a stolen vehicle.
He said the boy is fourth among five siblings ages between eight months and six.
While his other siblings were cared for by their grandmother in Masjid Tanah, the boy was left with a neighbour.
"The child's mother is a single parent and was working as a cook before she was detained.
"She left him with her neighbour but we believe the boy was abandoned by the neighbour," said Supt Razali. Police who went to the neighbour's house were told that the family had not returned home.
State deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm Mohd Shahrizan Che Mat said the boy was sent for a medical check-up to determine if he had been abused.