PETALING JAYA: The two child abuse victims who were rescued in Puchong will continue to be warded in Serdang Hospital until the hospital authorities deem they are fit enough to leave, says Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh.
“Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and I visited the children on Monday (June 17),” said Yeoh.
“The siblings were found to be malnourished and had abuse marks all over their bodies.
“So the hospital wants to ensure the children recuperate properly and are given the best care possible.
“The police have also arrested the suspects and are still investigating the matter.”
It was earlier reported that the two victims – an eight-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl – were rescued by the police following a public tip-off.
The police also remanded a couple and their daughter, who are believed to be the victims’ uncle, aunt and cousin.
Describing the situation as heartbreaking, Yeoh said: “The younger girl told the Deputy Prime Minister (Dr Wan Azizah) that she wants to go to school.
“The hospital runs a school within its premises, so learning could be a possibility once she is well enough.
“The brother still has fresh wounds on his body. Both will need time to heal as they are underweight.”
Yeoh said the Social Welfare Department (JKM) would look into the best alternative care options for the children, including housing them with other family members or at welfare homes run by NGOs.
She urged neighbours, teachers and the community to be alert about children in their area and to report to the authorities should they note something unusual in the children’s appearance or behaviour.
“If you observe that a child has signs of abuse or is continuously crying or is suddenly silent, call the police or Talian Kasih at 15999,” said Yeoh.
“We can only be effective in protecting our children if people take reporting seriously.”
She said under the Child Act 2001, Section 29A stated that any person could report abuse cases to JKM officers.
“Under Section 28, a penalty of RM5,000 can be imposed on any family member that does not report child sexual abuse cases, or jailed not more than two years, or both.
“Under Section 31, a person found guilty of neglect and abuse could be fined not more than RM50,000, or jailed not more than 20 years, or both.
"They will also need to perform mandatory community service,” said Yeoh.
The Segambut MP was speaking after visiting Sekolah Rendah Agama Ibnu Kathir in Sungai Penchala, Kuala Lumpur, which received RM30,000 from Yeoh’s MP allocation to build a 24m long walkway and roller shutter to upgrade the school’s facilities.