KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18, 2015:
Allegations of sexual assault and physical abuse have been levelled against a children’s welfare home in the city.
According to PKR Batu Member of Parliament Tian Chua, the welfare home in his constituency had 45 children and teenagers.
Speaking at a press conference at his community service centre here, Tian Chua said medical check-ups on at least four out of the 14 boys at the home had indicated they had been repeatedly sodomised.
“The children at the home had filed police reports claiming they were beaten and sexually abused there.
“In their reports, they stated that the chairman and founder of the home had abused them numerous times while under the influence of alcohol,” said Chua.
He said although the children had made several verbal complaints over the past few years, no official report was lodged until last October.
Present at the press conference today was one of the home’s volunteers, Mary Annette Fernandez, who said she was made aware of the alleged sexual abuse after watching a video allegedly made by an 18-year-old victim.
In it, the teenager provided graphic details on the abuses he claimed to have been subjected to since being sent to the home more than a year ago.
The boy was one of those who had lodged a police report against the home. However, now, he had gone missing.
According to Mary Annette, a missing person’s report had been lodged for the boy and another child, also living in the home. She said there was no word on the progress of the search.
“The abuse has been going on for several years. I have been volunteering there since 2012 and every time I go there, I would see injuries on the children.
“I didn’t know the boys were also sexually abused until I saw the video.
“One of the kids there had even tried to commit suicide as he couldn’t bear the abuse.
“For a long time, they had kept mum on the abuses. From what we found out, they were told not to say anything or they would be killed,” she claimed.
Mary Annette alleged that three individuals, comprising the home’s founder, his brother and the chairman, had been arrested and were currently under a six-day remand at a police lock-up.
The brother, Mary Annette claimed, was actually innocent and was the one who had helped the children by informing their parents of what was taking place in the home.
Sentul district police chief Assistant Commissioner R. Munusamy, when contacted, confirmed the arrest of only the home’s founder and chairman.
He said the two were being investigated under Section 377C of the Penal Code for forced sodomy or sodomy rape, and refused to comment further.
At the time of publication, efforts to obtain comments from the home were unsuccessful.