Toddler in Malaysia rescued from dark, dirty home

Toddler in Malaysia rescued from dark, dirty home
Squalid conditions: The toddler drinking water given by policemen who broke into his home in Kampung Parit Buluh, Air Kuning Selatan to find him naked and dirty.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

TAMPIN - A jobless woman went to great lengths to care for her mentally-ill mother. And if this was not enough, she also looked after her stepmother who was injured in a road accident.

She handled both tasks well, except that the "loser" turned out to be her two-year-old son.

She would lock up her youngest child at her rented home in Kampung Parit Buluh, Air Kuning Selatan here, as she set off to tend to both women, leaving the boy alone for hours.

He was not only alone and unfed, he was also left naked in the dark - the woman did not care enough to switch on the lights as she returned to her village at Felda Jelai in Gemas.

The boy's ordeal ended when po­­lice moved in after they were informed by villagers about hearing a child crying in the wee hours of Friday.

Police forced open the front door to get to the boy, who was crying.

Tampin OCPD Supt Hamazah Ad Razak said the police team was shocked to see the boy living in such poor conditions.

"The floor was littered with torn polystyrene," he said, adding that his men gave the boy food and water before taking him to Hospital Tampin where he has been warded.

He said the 37-year-old woman was being remanded till Monday pending in­­ves­­tigations under Section 33 of the Child Act for deliberately leaving a child without reasonable supervision.

Offenders can be fined up to RM5,000 (S$1610) or jailed for a period not exceeding two years or both upon conviction.

Supt Hamazah said police were trying to find out how long the mother had been leaving the toddler alone in the house.

He said the woman told police she usually asked one of her other two sons, aged 13 and 14, to look after the boy whenever she went back to her village.

Supt Hamazah said she has three other children from her first marriage, adding that the first child was being looked after by her ex-mother-in-law while the second and third boys lived with her and the toddler.

"The woman has been living with her second husband for two years but they only married last October. We also found out that the victim was born after she had an affair with an Indonesian man, before she met her second husband," he said, adding that the woman had not registered the boy's birth.

"The woman never told her second husband, a lorry driver - who goes outstation regularly - that the boy was her child.

"She just said that she was taking care of the boy for a friend," Supt Hamazah added.

Village headman Mohd Dom Mohd Amin 57, who rented the home to the woman, said the kampung folk did not know that the woman had a two-year-old son "as she never brought him out."

"We were shocked to see the boy in that state,'' he said.

State Women, Family and Community Development Commit­tee chairman Datuk Norhayati Omar said a medical check of the boy showed that he did not suffer any physical injury.

"We will hand him over to his grandfather once he is discharged from hospital," she said.

Norhayati revealed that the victim's mother had been receiving month­­ly aid of RM300 from the Welfare De­­part­­ment.

The boy's story mirrors that of teenager Muhammad Fir­daus Dul­lah who was rescued from a flat in Nilai in 2014.

The malnourished and mentally-challenged 16-year-old paraplegic was found by an Immigration team during a raid to weed out illegal foreigners in Taman Se­­­marak.

The teenager, who was unable to walk, only had a tattered and soiled T-shirt on and was covered in his own faeces and urine.

Muhammad Fir­daus died last year.

A 40-year-old woman was sentenced to four months jail and fined RM10,000 for neglecting and abandoning the teenager.

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