Thursday, May 14, 2009

Siblings to meet their mums

The Star NEws Friday May 8, 2009

GEORGE TOWN: The seven siblings of a seven-year-old disabled girl whose skeletal remains were found in a shallow grave recently, will get to meet their mothers, who were released by police on Wednesday.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said she met three of the children at Rumah Kanak-Kanak Taman Bakti (Kepala Batas) yesterday and they appealed to her to be allowed to see their mothers during weekends.

She said three boys were placed at the Rumah Kanak-Kanak Lelaki Serendah in Selangor and the seventh, a girl, was at the Rumah Kanak-Kanak Perempuan in Arau, Perlis.

Hello: (From left) Chew and Tan speaking to some of the children at the Asrama Paya Terubong near George Town Thursday.

“We will try to get the mothers to meet the children who are below 12 first, while the state Welfare Department will also make efforts to allow the mothers to visit the other four children.

“When I met the three yesterday, they repeatedly told me that their wish was to see their mothers on Saturdays and Sundays,” she told reporters after visiting the Asrama Paya Terubong near here yesterday, adding that they also “promised not to cry”.

Also present was state Wanita MCA chief Tan Cheng Liang and state Welfare Department director Arfan Sulaiman.

The girl’s disabled father, a 41-year-old odd-job worker, was arrested on April 28, on suspicion of outraging the modesty of his three other daughters.

One of the three victims later revealed how the father also allegedly abused her disabled sister, killed and buried her in 2006.

Her remains were exhumed from the shallow grave in an open field in Jalan Kampung Pisang. Police later picked up the man, one of his sons, and his two wives, aged 31 and 37, who are believed to be sisters.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Azam Abd Hamid said the 16-year-old boy and the wives were released on police bail on Wednesday. He said police were considering extending the remand order on the 41-year-old man which ends today.

Chew said the Welfare Department, with the permission of the police, would try to get the mothers to meet the children as soon as possible.

“I believe that the children should not be separated from their mothers and once the department has concluded with its investigations, we hope the children will be able to stay with their mothers,” she said.

On another matter, Chew said the Federal Government had allocated RM22mil to help those in need, including the poor, elderly, children and the disabled. She said the state government only spent about RM3.3mil for such needy people.

“The 740 poor families in Penang have already received aid from the Federal Government, and what the state government had done was to just top up the amount,” she added.

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