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‘Gas tank’ boy complained of beatings

The Star Online logo The Star Online 11/10/2017

KUANTAN: The 10-year-old boy found tied and chained to a gas tank at his home in Indera Makhota had contacted his biological father several times to complain that he was being beaten by his stepfather.

The victim’s 36-year-old biological father, who declined to be named, said he had immediately contacted his ex-wife to confirm the matter.

“She said it was normal because he was mischievous,” said the father.

The man, who works at a car wash centre in Melaka Tengah, said his eldest child, aged 16, and the 10-year-old, who is his third child, were previously under his care.

However, he claimed his ex-wife had taken the two children without his knowledge three years ago.

Yesterday, the boy was all smiles as the court returned him to his biological father.

The biological father was granted temporary custody of the boy for one month.

The man said he had been heartbroken when he heard about how his son was treated and when the police found him chained, lying on the floor unconscious and without a shirt last Thursday.

“I am relieved over the temporary custody and hope to secure permanent custody to keep my son with me. Previously, my youngest and eldest son were staying with me in Malacca while my second son lived with my ex-wife,” said the man.

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“However, three years ago, my ex-wife took both of them without my knowledge when they were staying in a tahfiz hostel. Now I am prepared to keep them.

“My youngest son will follow me to Malacca today while his 16-year-old sibling will join me upon completing his school examination,” he told reporters when met at the Courts Complex yesterday.

“They say they want to live together and I have no problem keeping them. It’s up to them,” he said.

Pahang Welfare Department assistant director of child welfare Azmi Ibrahim said magistrate Tengku Elliana Tuan Kamaruzaman had ordered the child to be placed under the care of the biological father for one month starting Oct 11 to Nov 11.

During the one month, Azmi said they would determine the suitability of the father to care for the boy.

“Starting today, the boy will be under the care of his biological father and stepmother in Melaka.”

He said the boy was in a cheerful mood and was looking forward to staying in Melaka.

The court order was granted after district welfare officer of protection Zalina Yusoff filed an application.

Last Thursday, neighbours noticed that the boy had been chained to a gas cylinder in his home at Indera Mahkota here and alerted the police.

A police team that broke down the back door found the boy lying on the floor unconscious and without a shirt.

The 32-year-old stepfather, an army personnel at Kem Batu 10, Jalan Gambang here, is currently under remand.

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