JOHOR BARU: The Johor Welfare Department has rescued three young children after pictures of them left on their own in their one-room shoplot as their parents were out working went viral on social media.
A Facebook post that accompanied the pictures claimed that the children – a boy and two girls aged two, four and six – were only given rice and soy sauce, as well as a mobile phone to play games on the whole day.
Following the post, the department took the trio from their home in Larkin Perdana here and sent them for a medical check-up.
One of the neighbours, Mohamad Faizul Mohamad, 34, said they did not know about the children’s alleged neglect until the pictures were uploaded onto the Internet.
Mohamad Faizul, who does online sales, said the neighbours did not know that the parents were out working.
“It’s terrible to see the kids left alone in a filthy room,” he said, adding that the parents would usually return around 6pm.
Mohamad Faizul said soon after the online post surfaced, the department’s officers and the police came and rescued the children.
“The parents were upset when they found that the authorities had taken their children,” he added.
He said he would donate some money to the family when he makes extra income.
The parents, he added, are from Sabah and renting the room at RM450 per month.
The couple apparently have another four-month-old child, who was with a babysitter that day.
Welfare officer Normawarni Mahat said they acted under the Child Act as the children were left without any adult supervision.
“The children were left with little food and few clothes,” she said, adding that the parents had gone to the department to give their statement yesterday
She added that the children are still with the department pending investigation.
Johor police chief Comm Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said action could be taken under Section 3 of the Child Act 2016.