JOHOR BAHRU: A couple in Johor was arrested over suspicions of child neglect after they failed to seek treatment for their son who sustained severe burns from playing with fire in Kampung Parit Kuchi, Pontian, on Dec 30.
Pontian police chief Shofee Tayib said the couple, aged 36 and 33, was arrested at 2am today while giving statements at the district police headquarters.
The nine-year-old boy suffered burns on the joints and limbs on the right side of the body down to the feet, left arm, inner thighs and right ear.
Shofee said the boy was not taken to the hospital for treatment, which forced his mother’s friend, who learnt about the incident, to lodge a police report yesterday.
“The complainant was in disbelief that the victim’s parents still did not take the injured child to seek treatment even after five days, (resulting in) his wounds getting worse.
“The report was also made to institute urgent action by the police because the complainant thought the child was being neglected,” he said in a statement today.
Shofee said according to the mother, the victim and his sister were playing with fire and were seen throwing egg trays into a burning garbage heap.
“The victim’s mother, who was in the house at the time, heard an explosion outside and saw her son running with his shirt and pants on fire and jumping into the ditch in front of the house.
“The father also helped put out the fire on the victim’s clothes before bringing him into the house,” he said.
Instead of taking the child to the hospital, Shofee said the parents only bought painkillers and ointment from the pharmacy.
The child is being treated at Pontian Hospital, but will be referred to Sultanah Aminah Hospital for further treatment.
The case is being investigated under Section 31 (1) (a) of the Child Act 2001.