PETALING JAYA – A Datuk and Datin who have been embroiled in the alleged abuse of children in a welfare home in Ipoh, have finally decided to tell their side of the story.
Breaking their silence after nearly a month, the Datuk and Datin denied all allegations of abuse and ill-treatment of the children in the Society of Caring Hands Ipoh (Sochi), which was reported in theSun on Dec 27, 2016.
On the contrary, the Datin said in 2012, her husband, who is a doctor, had received RM2million from a patient as a donation for the home and that he, the Datuk had matched the donation with RM2million of his own money.
The elderly couple, aged 74 and 71 respectively, spoke to theSun on condition of not being named, and in the presence of their lawyer recently.
The Datin said she and her husband had started Sochi in 2003 as a community service after her retirement as a teacher in an all boys Chinese vernacular school in Ipoh.
The Datin denied all allegations made by Sochi’s committee and the children levelled against her including:
> caning or abusing them;
> taking the children to her house when they did something wrong;
> making any of the children stay overnight at her house
> using her dogs to chase and frighten the children
> making any children sit inside her dog cage and having her dogs eat from their hands
> rationing food at the home.
“I deny all the allegations. I have spent a lot of time with the children. They were very good children (but) like all children they have negative qualities, (and) the negative qualities have been brought out of them,” she said.
Stressing that she keeps a diary of everything that happened in the home, the Datin claimed that the children were “lying”, “not telling the truth” and “have been coached” to make the allegations against her.
Although the Datin admitted that she did punish and discipline them, she did not elaborate on how she went about it.
“They were disciplined … You cannot run a home for children without having some form of discipline but they were not abused. If they were abused they wouldn’t have stayed there,” she said.
“The most common punishment will be grounding, and that is what they hate the most, like going for a party and not staying back. So when there is a party coming, everyone is well behaved.
“Other kinds of punishment are like how anybody would give them … like writing lines, standing in a corner.
“But I did not whip them. There was no whip there, I did not cane them, I did not abuse them at all,” she added.
She further claimed that none of the teachers and volunteers who had gone to teach the children have ever complained of any abuse, or noticed any scars on the children.
The children, in their testimonies claimed the Datin stopped caning on their hands as it was noticeable and would cane on the soles of the feet whenever they did anything deemed wrong to her.
When told that the children’s complaints have been corroborated by medical examinations conducted by a senior consultant paediatrician, the Datin alleged that the paediatrician had not complied by the Guidelines for the Hospital Management for Child Abuse and Neglect.
“The doctor came to check, the police and social welfare department were also asked to come to testify that but the welfare department didn’t ask the doctor to do it,” she said.
In the medical report by the senior consultant paediatrician of Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, it was stated that the doctors and his team were asked to review the children “by one of the Society of Caring Hands Committee members, the police and Welfare Department” as they were suspected of being abused.
The Datin, who initially claimed that she doesn’t know the paediatrician later said he was one of the panel of doctors for the home.
Asked if she had taken the children to her house when they did something wrong, the Datin said “no” while the Datuk nodded his head to the question at the same time.
She was quick to elaborate, “It was not like that. I have brought them to my house for my daughter’s wedding. They have never stayed in my house,” she said, adding that her two Labradors, are friendly and harmless dogs and have never chased the girls.
As for the provisions for the home, she said would buy what is needed and would give the caretaker RM1,000 every month to buy whatever the children ask for.
theSun had reported in December that 12 girls staying at the Caring Hands (Kakum Karangal) welfare home run by Sochi are said to have been subjected to physical and emotional abuse for years.
According to 12 ill-treated girls aged between seven and 18, the “abusive hands” were allegedly those of the home manager, a Datin and wife of a Datuk who is a senior official of the society.
The alleged abuse case is now under investigation by the authorities. – The Sun Daily