'Mum's ear-pulling scarred me for life'

STOCKHOLM - The eldest son of a Malaysian couple on trial here for allegedly abusing their children said he felt that he was "scarred for life" when his mother pulled his ears as a punishment.

In a video recording made early last month, Ammar, 12, told a policewoman of an incident when his mother was said to have pulled his ear for showing off to his friends while on summer holiday in Germany.

The recording was shown in the Solna district court here yesterday.

At first, he said the incident was "not that terrible, she just pulled my ear".

However, immediately after, he claimed the incident scarred him, "not physically, but I was scarred for life".

Ammar said he did not realise that it was illegal to hit children in Sweden, adding that he would have not told his school counsellors about the punishment.

He also wished that his family could be together again and asked the policewoman interviewing him if his parents would be released soon.

"I wish that my parents would be home and we could be fine together.

"It's been a long time. It feels strange not to see my parents for nearly four weeks," said Ammar, the second of four siblings.

His mother Shalwati Nurshal was seen dabbing her eyes with tissue upon hearing this.

Shalwati and her husband Azizul Raheem Awalluddin were detained on Dec 18 last year after Ammar told staff members at his school that he had been hit, leading them to report the matter to the authorities.

After his parents' arrest, Ammar and his siblings were sent to a foster home in Sweden before being sent home to Malaysia to stay with relatives on Jan 31.

He also said he enjoyed living in Sweden and already had friends in his school.

A letter by Ammar, submitted by the defence on the first day of trial, stated that he was sorry for "letting his anger start this", adding that he still loved his parents.

The prosecution team, led by Anna Arnell, is also expected to show video interviews with Ammar's siblings Aishah and Adam.

On Feb 10, Shalwati and Azizul, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stock­holm, are charged with multiple counts of gross violation of a child's integrity by hitting and abusing their children.

The alleged offences took place in the family's home in Spanga, a Stockholm suburb, between Sept 15, 2010 and Dec 17 last year.

The hearing continues on Mon­day.