Parents advised to never leave children unattended

PETALING JAYA - Child welfare advocates advise parents to think before leaving their kids unattended.

This follows the death of the five-year-old girl who was trapped in a container that caught fire in Kota Kinabalu.

Young victim Kabo Boreng was kept inside the 20-foot container by her father Bernados Boro, 29, before he left for work at a nearby chicken farm in Bongawan, 84km south of the Sabah capital yesterday.

Bernados and other workers tried to kick open the door when they saw smoke billowing from the container that was used as a workers' quarters. The girl died minutes after the 8.30am incident.

Shelter Home for Children general manager Cheok Hoong Poh said the child's father should have left her with a relative or a family friend. He added that parents should never leave children below 18 alone.

Suhakam commissioner James Nagayam said, "Everyone, including parents, want to uphold the rights of the children but when the situation forces them to desperation, they resort to such measures."

He was referring to the father's reasoning that the child would run around and go missing if she was not locked up.

"I'm sure if they can foresee such an accident occurring, they wouldn't have left the child in the container alone," he said, adding that community support is important in addressing such issues.

"The parents have to work to survive. For those living in poverty, its either you live with the child at home or go out to look for food. How do you expect these people to afford a daycare centre?" he asked.