Girl, 5, abused: Mother says child was pawn in divorce

Girl, 5, abused: Mother says child was pawn in divorce
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

KOTA BARU - Sana Abdul Malek, the mother of the severely abused five-year-old girl, says she had to surrender her child to her husband when they divorced in 2013.

The Thai Muslim who lives in Pasir Mas said she could not stand being married to the man, also a Thai Muslim.

"Life with him was unbearable; I had to give away my daughter to him as a condition to divorce him," Sana, 28, told The Star in a telephone interview.

She added that the decision to hand over her daughter was a private agreement and not a court order.

Sana brushed off further questions on her marriage and divorce and why she was so desperate to get out of the marriage and terminated the interview.

Doctors found 13 broken bones on Sana's daughter after she was admitted at the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital on suspicion of abuse.

Sana said she saw bruises on her daughter's body after her ex-husband's wife said they wanted to give the child back to her because they could not take care of her anymore.

More questions have arisen about the child's parents since investigations began.

Sources close to the investigation said both parents were illegals when the child was born but are now legally here.

According to a hospital source, the child's birth record has another man's name as the father.

That man was a Malaysian at the time.

"I find it strange why the biological mother would give away a child just like that.

"It is sad that the poor child was a pawn in the agreement and in the end she ended up being brutally beaten and tortured.

"I cannot believe the suspect, who is said to be the child's father, would allow such a thing to happen," said the source.

Yesterday, the girl underwent an emergency operation to untangle her intestines.

Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital director Datuk Dr Ghazali Hasni Md Hassan said the girl had an intussusception - that is when one portion of the intestine slides into the next - and they had to be untangled so that she could empty her bowels.

Dr Ghazali said her intestines got entangled as a result of a blow to the stomach and they discovered the blockage at 10.30am.

It was a life-threatening situation for the child.

"She will not be allowed to eat for 24 hours. She should recover in three days.

"At the moment, no one is allowed to visit her except her mother but we are more concerned about her broken bones.

"We have to wait for her to walk to find out the extent of the physical damage," he told reporters at the hospital.

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