MALACCA - A woman has lodged a police report against her goddaughter and her husband in Paya Rumput, Alor Gajah, here for abusing their seven-year-old daughter.
Authorities detained the couple at their home on Thursday but later released the 31-year-old wife, who is the girl's stepmother, on bail because she was still nursing her young son.
The husband, a 36-year-old security guard in Batu Berendam, remains under remand.
Speaking at her home yesterday, the 55-year-old woman said the couple arrived in July together with their daughter and 21-month-old son to live with her.
"I noticed that the girl's right hand was in plaster and that she had scars on her head.
"When I asked my goddaughter, she told me that the girl had fallen from the stairs.
"Upon prodding, the girl told me that her stepmother had hit her and used coffee powder to stop the bleeding on her head wound," she claimed.
The woman, who works as a janitor, alleged that since they moved in, she also saw the girl being hit when her brother fell down and cried on Sept 29.
She said the goddaughter had slapped the girl, beaten her with a water hose as well as knocked her head against the wooden arm of a sofa for not taking good care of the boy.
"I tried to stop her but she told me not to be a busybody," she said.
The woman said she then lodged a report with the religious authorities before making a complaint to the police.
Confirming the couple's detention, Malacca CID chief Asst Comm Raja Shahrom Raja Abdullah said the case had been referred to the Welfare Department.
Initial investigations showed that there were old injuries on the back of the girl, who is still warded at the Malacca Hospital.
"The case is being investigated under Section 31(1) of the Child Act 2001," he said.