Yesterday, the parents of the five-year-old boy who was found dead in a Teck Whye flat, turned up at Stirling Road where the funeral was held.
At about 4pm, the 45 year-old mother arrived in a Singapore Prison van. In shackles, she was accompanied by officers and appeared weak. Upon seeing her youngest son’s body, she broke down into tears as officers consoled her. She knelt by his side and stroked his face before being led off 15 minutes later back to Changi Women’s Prison.
An hour later, the boy’s father turned up in another prison van. He cried at the sight of the body and stayed for 10 minutes. Both parents are believed to be serving a four-year term for drug related offences.
About 20 people turned up for the funeral, including the boy’s paternal grandmother, 72, and a stepsister in her 20s who had last seen the boys during the June school holidays when they stayed over at her place.
The deceased’s older brother, 7, is now under the care of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS). An MCYS spokesman yesterday said the ministry will give the necessary support to the seven-year-old and will also work with his family on his care.
Meanwhile, the boy’s aunt who is indicted for child abuse has been charged yesterday for mistreating his elder brother. The 47 year-old dishwasher is accused of tying the seven-year-old boy’s hands to a metal beam attached to a kitchen wall, using a piece of cloth. It is also believed that she had tied his legs to a PVC pipe attached to the kitchen sink with another cloth. District Judge Lim Tse Haw told her she would not be granted bail. She will also be remanded for a week at the Jurong Police Division for further investigations. If convicted, she could be fined up to $4,000, jailed for up to four years, or both. There is currently no update on whether she is responsible for the deceased’s death or if she will be charged for it.
According to a 1996 study done by Singapore Children’s Society, 75% of maltreatment cases were not made known to authorities. Recent studies by the society also found that the research on children maltreatment is highly general therefore active preventive measures are hard to implement. With so many tragedies like this hidden in the dark, intervention often arrive when it is too late. Tell us what you think. Would you take any actions if you see or hear about a case of child abuse or would you hesitate to intervene?
Source: The Straits Times
Photo credit: Ted Chen, ST