A four-year-old had his private parts pinched by a minder at a daycare centre for refusing to take a nap.
- Doctor confirmed red marks and swelling caused by someone’s nail
- Child took a week to recover from injuries, undergoing counselling
- Minder denied any knowledge of boy’s injury, then claimed he was injured playing with friends
- When threatened with police report, she owned up to the abuse and begged family not to press charges
- Family has lodged a report, seeking legal action
- Michael Chong believes there are many more such cases, urged parents always check their children for marks or injuries
According to the boy’s 23-year-old father, identified as Woo, the incident occurred on Nov 17.
His son’s injury was revealed later that day when after the boy was picked up from the daycare centre in Sungai Buloh at around 6pm, his grandmother gave him a bath and noticed the bruises and red marks on the boy’s private parts.
“I first learnt about this from my mother who found the marks while bathing him. He said he was pinched for being naughty and refusing to take a nap when asked by the teacher.
“I was so horrified that I immediately took him to see the doctor. It took him a week to recover,” he told reporters during a press conference at Wisma MCA on Tuesday.
Woo, who was accompanied by his wife and son, said the doctor at a clinic confirmed that the red marks and swelling were caused by someone’s nail.
“We sent a text message to the minder to ask about it but she denied any knowledge about my son’s injury and said she would have to check the CCTV footage,” he said.
Apparently, she even promised to take action against anyone found to have abused the boy after reviewing the CCTV footage.
Not satisfied with her answer, Woo and the boy’s grandmother confronted the minder again and this time the woman claimed that the boy was injured while playing with his friends at the centre.
However, when threatened with a police report, the minder, who is in her 30s, confessed to her misdeeds and pleaded with the family not to press charges.
Although she apologised, the family lodged a police report anyway on Nov 23. They have also stopped sending the child to the daycare centre since.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said the couple would be taking legal action against the centre while police could investigate the case under the Child Act 2001.
“We are not just worried about his physical condition but his mental health has also been affected by this,” he said, adding that the boy was now undergoing counselling.
He expressed his shock at the punishment the boy received and said such cases called for more attention from the public, especially from parents.
“We wish to bring this case to light because we feel this is just the tip of the iceberg. There (could be) many more cases like this which are not brought to my office.
“Last month, a girl gagged her younger brother because her minder had done it to her as a punishment for being noisy.
“Luckily, her parents found out and were able to prevent anything worse from happening,” Chong said.
He also warned parents to be more discerning in their choice of daycare centres and should not blindly put their trust in those working in such centres.
He urged parents to be aware of how their children are being treated at the centres.
“Parents must also be more aware of their children’s condition. They must always check for injuries or marks and find out how they got them,” he said.
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