A little joy in trying times

Grateful: Michael (second from left) presenting a mock cheque and donated goodies to the boys.

KOTA KINABALU: A little boy clapped his hands in excitement while his elder brother’s forlorn face brightened up when gifts arrived for them at their hospital ward in Keningau.

Many would think that the brothers, aged five and 13, were being treated for an illness but they were actually rescued from their allegedly abusive adoptive parents.

Persatuan Angkatan Gabungan Rakyat Asli Sabah (Agaras) president Datuk Micheal Frederick brought some donated items including two mobile phones, clothes, toys and other essentials for the brothers.

“They are in pain caused by the injuries and their parents are with the police, but despite all that, they were so happy to receive the gifts,” he said when contacted yesterday.

He added that the children asked who gave them the gifts, and when told that kind-hearted strangers gifted the presents to them, they were thankful and couldn’t stop smiling.

“We also managed to raise RM10,000 which will be given to the children and managed by the Sabah Welfare Department for their school and other uses,” Frederick said.

There were also others who sent clothing, toys and other items to the boys.

Sabah Welfare Department director Jais Asri, when contacted, said the boys were recuperating well, mentally and physically.

“The children have been rescued, they are being treated and given protection,” he said.

He added the boys will be protected by the Welfare Department until a person or family member that is fit and capable is identified to care for them.

The boys, who were found selling burgers, were rescued after a customer claimed to notice a scar and injury on one of the boy’s hands earlier this month in Keningau.

The customer later found out from his other friends that there were more injuries and scars on the boys’ bodies, which prompted them to report the matter to the police.

The boys’ adoptive parents were subsequently picked up by police on April 5, and charged at the Keningau Magistrate’s Court on April 16 for voluntarily causing hurt to the kids.

Earlier, Keningau OCPD Supt Yampil Anak Garai said the teenager is the woman’s stepson from her previous marriage, while the younger boy was adopted by the couple later.

He said the teenager was believed to have been abused with hot iron, pressed on his abdomen and back at least four times, based on the wound marks, and hit with wood and iron rod, for lying that he had finished selling the burgers and for coming home late.

Supt Yampil said both suspects had a previous record for drug-related offences.

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sabah , keningau , brothers , hospital , adoptive parents , gifts


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