JOHOR BAHRU: The Permaisuri of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, has expressed her sadness over the death of a four-year-old boy, who was suspected to have been a victim of child abuse in Senggarang, Batu Pahat.
Her Royal Highness urged all Malaysians to be more sensitive and concerned about the safety of children.
“It was so heartbreaking to hear the explanation from the Johor police chief (Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat), even he himself shed tears. It reminds me of the case of the late ‘Baby Bala’ in 1990 which also led to the enactment of the Child Act 2001.
“As a mother and also a grandmother, I am not only calling, but appealing to all Malaysians, to be more sensitive and concerned about children’s safety. Every life is priceless,” she told the Royal Press Office in a post uploaded on ‘The Royal Johor’ Facebook page.
Her Royal Highness was briefed on the facts of the case by Kamarul Zaman at Istana Bukit Serene here, yesterday.
Also present were Johor Legal Adviser Datuk Amir Nasruddin and Johor Women’s League (JEWEL) president Thanam Visvanathan-Suresh.
Raja Zarith Sofiah said she hoped that the child’s death would serve as a reminder to the community to be more sensitive in protecting the group.
“There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Children expect and need us members of the community to keep them safe. Let’s not act indifferent until there is prolonged abuse and loss of life.
“We all have an important role in society, which is to protect children from abuse. Our responsibilities are enormous,” she said.
The boy died on Dec 26, four days after being admitted to the intensive care unit of Sultan Ismail Hospital, after he succumbed to serious injuries believed to be from physical abuse and torture. – Bernama