KUALA LUMPUR: The parents of a four-year old boy who was caned at a kindergarten in Overseas Union Garden have vowed to expose what they claim were excessive caning practices at the centre.
Wong Mee Yan, 32, said she had noticed cane marks on her son’s body while bathing him on April 22. She said she then decided to meet the kindergarten’s principal over the matter.
She said upon reviewing the kindergarten’s CCTV footage, the principal apologised and admitted that the child was caned.
“But we saw in the CCTV footage that there was also another girl who was caned. So, we decided to lodge a police report.
“However, upon returning to the kindergarten accompanied by police, we were told that the CCTV footage had been deleted,” said Wong.
Wong accompanied by her husband Lee Hon Kit and their child, was speaking at a press conference held by MCA public services and complaints department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong.
Chong said the couple, who live in Jalan Klang Lama, could seek legal action against the kindergarten, while police would be investigating whether there were other victims involved.
“We wish to bring this case to light because we feel this is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are many more cases, not just those brought to my office,” said Chong. “Last year alone, I handled three cases which were solved out of court, as the principals had offered an apology to the parents.
But in this case, there may have been other victims also involved, but we will leave that to the police to investigate.”
Chong said this was the second such case in the past two weeks brought to his office, but he also called for a balanced view.
“In the first case (reported on April 18), we found that the child, who was also four, had been diagnosed as being hyperactive,” said Chong.
“Under such circumstances, I feel it is also necessary for parents to seek special medical help before sending their children to kindergartens, as such a condition can also affect other children.
“In that case, the kindergarten could not control the hyperactive child and the teacher resorted to pinching the child, leaving a mark on his upper cheek. We have to also be fair to the kindergartens in this sense.”
He said on hindsight, the prevalence of such cases called for more attention from the public, particularly from parents.
“Parents must be aware of the condition of their children. They must always check for injuries or such marks and ascertain how it happened,” said Chong.-nst