A 21-month-old boy in Johor who is believed to have been abused by his adoptive parents has died
Muhammad Al Fateh Abdullah was initially taken to the Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital (HSNI) in Batu Pahat last week on 5 July by his adoptive mother after he suffered from fits.
He was then admitted to the Children Intensive Care Unit at the hospital on Sunday evening, 9 July.
The toddler was in a critical condition and fighting for his life, relying on breathing support apparatus.
In an upsetting turn of events, the little boy died at the hospital yesterday afternoon, 11 July.
1. The victim had been admitted to the hospital three times before
Hospital records at the HSNI revealed that Muhammad Al Fateh was admitted to the hospital on several occasions following health complications, including suspected tuberculosis and seizures until he became unconscious.
It was reported that he was suspected to have been abused when the doctors discovered old and new injury marks on the boy's body.
Examinations on the victim's body showed that there were burn marks on the victim's right and left palms as well as on his right foot. Further inspections by HSNI also revealed that there was a fracture on the toddler's right hand.
2. The victim's adoptive parents have been remanded
Following the results of the HSNI report which suspects that Muhammad Al Fateh was abused, the authorities have detained Muhammad Al Fateh's adoptive parents, aged 30 and 34, to assist in police investigations.
Bernama reported that they will be remanded until tomorrow, 13 July.
The police's initial investigations revealed that the couple has eight children but the victim is the couple's only adopted child.
3. The victim's adoptive siblings are also suspected to have taken part in the alleged abuse
Berita Harian reported yesterday that the police were in the midst of arresting the eldest child in the family, a 14-year-old teenager, to facilitate investigations.
“The police are in the process of detaining the teenager following the alleged abuse of the boy under the care of his family."
"We also do not rule out the possibility of arresting some of the younger siblings who are believed to have also abused the poor boy," Batu Pahat OCPD Asst Comm Abdul Wahib Musa was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.
4. The boy was previously placed under the Welfare Department's protection, but he was later returned to the adoptive parents' care
It was learned that the Muhammad Al Fateh's fractured hand in a previous occasion had raised a red flag among medical staff, who alerted the authorities about the matter.
"The medical examination on the victim also found a crack mark on his right arm, causing him to be handed over to the Social Welfare Department for protection."
"However, after some time, the child was handed back to the family," said Abdul Wahib in a statement on 10 July, as reported by Bernama.
5. The authorities are currently investigating the victim's cause of death
The police said yesterday, 11 July, that a postmortem would be conducted today, 12 July, to determine the cause of death.
The case is being investigated under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, which provides a maximum fine of RM20,000 or a jail term of up to 10 years, or both, upon conviction.
In other news, the MOH has revealed that the death of the abused tahfiz school pupil in April was not due to trauma or injury: