It was 2:30 in the morning, and after a long, tiring day at work, audio shop worker Michael Jin looked forward to coming home. But what welcomed him back at his apartment were cries of what sounded like a desperate boy a floor below.
He went down to inspect the noise, and what he found shocked him: a boy, stark-naked, was chained on the stairway.
According to the Straits Times, the boy was left there by his father as a sort of discipline.
“I went out to check and saw a naked boy resting his head on the concrete partition. I asked him why he was there and he told me that his father had chained him there,” Michael Jin said. “I took some photographs as evidence. That was when my neighbor came out to inform me that the boy had been chained there since 10pm.”
Confronting the boy’s father, Michael demanded he release his son. The father did and took the boy inside.
Michael watched the whole thing to make sure the boy didn’t receive a beating from his father.
“As a single father, I know it's normal for boys to be a bit naughty but I feel that the father should not punish his son in such a harsh manner," he said.
Michael also uploaded the photographs he took on social media out of sympathy for the boy.
Corroborating Michael’s concerns, a neighbor whose name he decided not to disclose, said that the father, when he was out at work, would leave his son alone at home.
“He would wander around the flat. If he is found by his father outside, he would be punished," the neighbor said.
The Straits Times report also said: “George Town OCPD Assistant Commissioner Mior Faridalathrash Wahid confirmed that the boy was now under temporary custody of the department after his 45-year-old father was arrested at about 4pm on Monday (May 16) when he turned up at the Air Itam police station to give a statement.”
Meanwhile, Paya Terubong assemblyman Yeoh Soon Hin is closely monitoring the boy’s progress, saying that while there were no apparent injuries on his body, he will be sent Penang Hospital for a check-up.
“I've spoken to the boy's relative,” he said. “She hoped that the public would leave the family alone so that the authorities could investigate the case and also to protect the interest of the child.”
READ: What’s the difference between child discipline and punishment?
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