Welfare Department to care for rescued girl from locked home

Welfare Department to care for rescued girl from locked home
Longer remand: Plainclothes policemen escorting the girl’s father to the Butterworth courthouse in Penang.

BUTTERWORTH - The girl who was rescued weak, starving and bruised from a locked flat unit here will be placed under the care of the Penang Welfare Department if her family members do not come to claim her.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said the girl would be placed at the Taman Bakti Children's Home in Kepala Batas.

She was glad that the department had appointed an officer to care for the girl and counsel her.

Chew, together with several state MCA committee members, visited the girl at the Seberang Jaya Hospital paediatric ward yesterday.

"We are now waiting for the police to decide if the case should be brought to court and whether the girl's parents should be charged.

"If there is nobody to take care of the girl and other children in the family, the department will find a solution and care for them as they are innocent.

"The department will also be responsible for ensuring that the girl receives treatment until she fully recovers," Chew, who is Penang MCA chairman, told reporters after the visit.

Also present was Seberang Jaya Hospital deputy director Dr Azlina Mohd Radzi.

Dr Azlina said the girl, who is six years and three months old, weighed only about 10kg when she was brought to the hospital.

"She is now on a liquid diet and showing great improvement. She has already gained 2kg.

"We will give her solid food once she reaches about 15 to 20kg," she said.

Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin and North Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Abdul Rahman Ibrahim visited the girl earlier.

The Butterworth magistrate's court has, meanwhile, extended the remand of the girl's 34-year-old father to Jan 22 to enable police to complete investigations.

On Thursday, the Year One pupil, believed to have been abused and starved, was rescued by police from a locked flat at Sungai Dua here.

ACP Abdul Rahman had said that police acted after a teacher from the girl's school lodged a report.

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