KUANTAN, MALAYSIA - A nine-year-old boy, who was admitted to the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital along with his 11-year-old sister with bruises and bite marks, claims their stepmother abused them.
According to state deputy CID chief Supt Nordin Mustapha, a neighbour lodged a report after the boy, who lives in a village along Jalan Gambang here, complained of pain following beatings from the stepmother at about 2pm on Thursday.
"The neighbour claimed he had often heard cries from the children and the boy had prior to this told the neighbour about the stepmother's conduct.
"This was said to have been going on for four years. The neighbour, however, only listened to the boy without doing anything until the boy complained again that he could not take any more abuse," Supt Nordin said yesterday.
He said police had arrested the woman and her 35-year-old husband, who works at a fertiliser factory.
The two children will be handed over to the welfare department after they are discharged from hospital.
In Kuala Lumpur, Wanita Gerakan said it supported the proposal by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil that harsher penalties be imposed on child abusers.
Currently, under the Child Act, offenders can be sentenced to a maximum of two years' jail or fined RM5,000 (S$2,060), or both, if convicted.