SEREMBAN, June 22 — He was covered in filth and wore only a tattered t-shirt. He wore no pants. Unable to walk, the emaciated teenager stared vacantly at the Immigration Department officers as they entered the room strewn with polystyrene boxes.
The 15-year-old, who reportedly suffers from cerebral palsy, had apparently been neglected for over a year with his mother claiming that she was unable to find a nanny to look after him.
She lives in another house nearby with her second husband and children from that marriage, initial investigations revealed.
The officers chanced upon the teenager early yesterday morning when they conducted a raid to nab illegal immigrants at the low-cost flats in Taman Semarak, Nilai.
“When we entered the unit we expected that it was occupied by illegal immigrants but then we found the boy,” said Negri Sembilan Immigration director Faizal Fazri Othman.
“He was covered in faeces and urine. We believe his condition is due to abuse and neglect.”
The horrified officers immediately called for medical help and the teenager, who was just skin and bones, was rushed to the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital in Seremban for treatment.
Faizal said the boy’s mother, believed to be from Sabah, worked for a catering company, was detained shortly after they discovered him.
The boy’s name has been released but Malay Mail is withholding it to protect him.
In a video that was made available to the press, the teenager could be seen
moving by pushing himself with his arms and occasionally moaning.
The officers were heard expressing shock and later coaxing him to be calm before he was carried away on a stretcher.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said she had instructed the relevant departments to investigate the matter.
“I have also instructed immediate help and care for the teen that includes him being placed under the Welfare Department’s care,” she said in a statement.
“The ministry has already sent an officer to look after the teen currently being warded at the hospital and investigate the site where he was found at to get a clearer picture of the situation.”
She said his parents were divorced and his father was estranged from the family.
“The mother also denies neglecting the teen. We are investigating whether the teen was really neglected,” said Rohani.
A hospital staff said she was shocked when she saw the boy.
“He looked like he had not eaten in a long time. He was very weak,” said the nurse.
“It was really heart-wrenching for the nurses on duty. We have not seen a special needs child in such bad condition. His weight was surely not that of a 15-year-old.”
State Welfare, Women and Family Development exco Datuk Norhayati Omar said doctors informed her that the teenager’s condition was stable.
“They have cleaned him and cut his hair. They will conduct several tests on him.”
Norhayati said the doctors believed that he had been ill and could be in better condition if proper treatment was given six months ago.
“Doctors said they found no sign of abuse but his health has been clearly neglected by his parents.”
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Watch the video here:
Immigration officers on Ops 6P rooting out illegal immigrants stumble upon a severely retarded boy/girl aged 15 locked up in deplorable conditions among filth and human waste, barely clothed, skeletal from malnutrition, able to utter sounds but not comprehensible due toprolonged lack of social contact but otherwise healthy and highly mobile. The sight will move you to compassion and pity.