Starving child left home alone in Malaysia

BUTTERWORTH - A seven-year-old girl who just started Year One in school was found starving in a locked room inside a flat.

North Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Abdul Rahman Ibrahim said police freed the girl, who they found to be weak from hunger when they entered a flat in Taman Sungai Dua Utama, Sungai Dua.

They found her on Thursday evening and believe that she had gone without food for several days.

ACP Abdul Rahman said the girl asked the policemen for food as soon as she saw them.

Police had gone to the flat after a teacher at the girl's school became concerned when she did not show up after the first day.

"The teacher had also been told by the other teachers at the school that the girl had looked weak and frail.

"The teachers became suspicious when the girl's father came over to the school on Thursday to collect the RM100 school aid," ACP Abdul Rahman said at the Seberang Jaya Hospital yesterday where the girl was sent for a medical examination.

The school's student affairs teacher lodged a police report on the matter on Thursday, he said.

"At 7.30pm that day, police went to the flat and found the girl inside the room which had been locked from the outside. The flat did not have any electricity or water supply.

"She had bruises on her arms and thighs which we believe was caused by someone pinching her," said ACP Abdul Rahman.

The case is being investigated under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 for abuse.

He said the child's 34-year-old father, believed to be a petrol station attendant, was arrested and placed under remand till Monday.

ACP Abdul Rahman said police believe the girl was the suspect's daughter from his first wife, an Indonesian.

He said the couple had separated and the suspect was now living with his second wife and their five children at another flat nearby.