KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman has condemned the photographing of a child in handcuffs and viralling it on social media.
“We do not know whether it is the police who took the picture and circulated it on social media.
“If it was done by policemen, it is up to their superiors to take action as such moves are prohibited when a child is involved, ” he told reporters in Sepanggar yesterday.
“The boy is stateless, a Pelahu (sea gypsy), so what do you expect of them? Besides, he was just holding a toy gun, ” Azis said.
After the incident, 11 Pelahu children – five boys and six girls aged between six months and 12 years – were detained with four women aged between 24 and 31, believed to be their mothers. They were held under the Immigration Act.
Under the Child Act, a child who is arrested shall not be handcuffed unless the offence is a serious crime, or if the child had forcibly resisted the arrest or attempted to flee.
On Tuesday, pictures of the boy pointing a toy gun at a motorist at a traffic intersection in Taman Aman Jaya, Lahad Datu, while begging for money were widely circulated on social media.
The policemen who were involved in arresting and handcuffing the child are being probed.
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