Muhdalena who escaped after giving birth caught 211km away

Muhdalena Ahmad (left).

JOHOR BARU - Muhdalena Ahmad, the woman who escaped from the Sultanah Aminah Hospital here leaving her newborn baby behind, has been caught in Malacca barely less than 24 hours after she disappeared.

Muhdalena, who was sentenced to a mental hospital for running amok at the Prime Minister's Department two years ago, was arrested at the Ayer Keroh rest and recreational area along the North-South Expressway.

Johor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Hasnan Hassan said the 30-year-old was nabbed at around 3.05am yesterday.

"We received information from the public on her whereabouts. The speedy action by the police resulted in her arrest," he said.

However SAC Hasnan declined to give further details on the incident as the case is still under investigation.

He also refused to explain how the woman, who had given birth only two days earlier, could have ended up 211km away from the hospital.

The case is classified under Section 224 of the Penal Code for running away from police custody and Muhdalena has been remanded until today.

Muhdalena, who was pregnant with her third child, was sent to the hospital on Sunday from Hospital Permai, where she has been seeking treatment for her mental condition since June 19.

She left behind her newborn son, who was being taken care of at another hospital block, it was reported.

Muhdalena took the opportunity to escape from police personnel guarding her at around 8.50am Thursday by giving the excuse that she had to go to the toilet.

During the incident, she was neither handcuffed nor accompanied by the personnel to the toilet.

She was last seen wearing a pink hospital garb.

Asst Com Hassan said three police personnel, two male and a female, have been detained to assist with the investigations under Section 223 of the Penal Code for negligence which led to Muhdalena's escape.

Muhdalena was sentenced to a mental institution here by the Putrajaya Sessions Court for running amok with the self-proclaimed "Imam Mahadi" Khalil Afendi while wielding samurai swords outside the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya on July 9, 2012.

Both were shot by the police. However, Khalil succumbed to injuries at the Putrajaya Hospital.