In a recent verdict, a nasi lemak seller, 38, was fined RM10,000 by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions’s Court today for caning his stepson due to frustration over the child’s inability to answer a math question.
The incident, which took place on June 23 in Wangsa Maju, led to physical injuries for the six-year-old boy.
Stepfather caned his stepson over math question
The court, presided over by Judge Norina Zainol Abidin, handed down the fine after the accused pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
As part of the judgment, the court also stipulated a six-month prison sentence for the accused if he fails to pay the fine.
In addition to this, he must exhibit good behaviour and adhere to an unsecured bail bond for five years
The accused will also be required to undergo parenting counseling services organised by the Department of Social Welfare (JKM).
Furthermore, he was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service within the next six months.
The charges against the stepfather were filed under Section 31(1)(a) of the Children Act 2001, which allows for a fine of up to RM50,000 or a maximum prison term of 20 years, or both, for such offenses.
‘The title of father (stepfather) is not a license to beat such a victim for the purpose of disciplining‘
Deputy Public Prosecutor Noorhani Muhmmed Ayub argued for an appropriate sentence, emphasising that the title of “father,” whether biological or stepfather, does not grant a license to subject a child to such violence.
The victim had reportedly been beaten for a math mistake, which, according to the prosecutor, was not an acceptable reason for such punishment.
The role of a father (including a stepfather) does not grant permission to physically discipline a child in such a manner.
The victim told that his father who hit him and it was just a math mistake the victim shouldn’t have been hit like that.
The victim needs the love of a father because his father and mother are divorced,” she said.
Defense’s request for leniency
On the other hand, the accused’s lawyer, Arik Zakri Abdul Kadir, requested a lenient fine, citing the accused’s support for his family.
The accused’s wife, who is also the biological mother of the victim, is currently four months pregnant.
He claimed that the accused had cooperated fully throughout the investigation.
According to Kosmo, the case came to light when the Kuala Lumpur Health Clinic’s School Team Division visited a local primary school on June 16 to conduct health check-ups and vaccinations for Year One students.
During the check-up, the victim displayed bruises on his arm, which were noted by the duty nurse and medical officer.
Subsequently, they contacted the victim’s class teacher, who recommended reporting the incident to JKM through Talian Kasih.
The incident was officially reported on June 23, after the victim confided in his teacher that he had been physically punished by his stepfather for his math struggles.
The teacher took immediate action to provide medical care, applying ointment to the wound.
Several JKM officers were summoned to the school, and the victim was taken to a doctor, who confirmed that the child had sustained a ‘soft tissue injury over posterior left knee and posterior right calf’ as a result of the caning.