Grandma weeps for boy abused by stepmum

KUALA LUMPUR - Foo Kuan How's heart bleeds every time her only grandchild Chong Tian Boh, 11, complains of being beaten by his stepmother.

"He is depressed all the time and once he told me he wanted to kill himself," said the 62-year-old mother-of-three.

Tian Boh is her daughter Wong Yoke Fong's son and lives with his father and his new family on weekdays and spends the weekends with Foo in Jinjang.

(Wong was admitted into psychiatric care at Hospital Bahagia in Ulu Kinta, Perak, a month ago after overdosing on Ecstasy pills.)

Foo said the abuse got out of hand when Tian Boh's stepmother repeatedly hit the boy's arm with a piece of wood after he took his birth certificate to school without informing anyone.

The swelling was still visible yesterday and Tian Boh said his arm was still painful.

Foo's son Thomas lodged a report at the Jinjang police station on Feb 21 and the story in a vernacular Chinese daily on Tuesday caught the eye of Deputy Women, Family and Community Devel­opment Minister Senator Datuk Heng Seai Kie, who directed the Federal Territory Social Welfare Department to look into it.

Heng and department director Noormah Datuk Abdul Rauf visited the boy at Foo's house yesterday, adding that all steps would be taken to handle the matter accordingly.

"The child will be taken for a health check-up and the case will be brought to court if there is evidence of abuse," she said, urging the public to inform the authorities if they knew cases of child abuse or domestic violence.