Penang welfare home workers abused my six children, claims single mother

BUKIT MERTAJAM, July 17 — A single mother has claimed that her six children who have been living in a non-governmental organisation’s (NGO) welfare home in Bukit Tengah here, were abused by its workers for the past four years.

Speaking at a press conference here today, Pan Lan Cheng, 45, said she found out about the incidents when her third child escaped the home on July 5 after he claimed to have been abused by several workers and that he could not take it anymore.

She said her 14-year-old son, Yeo Soon Jie, had travelled to Masai, Johor where she was now residing before he related the story on what happened to his other siblings, aged between eight and 17.

Pan, a restaurant assistant, said she immediately went to home and discovered bruises on her children’s body including on her 17-year-old daughter, who claimed that she was sexually abused by several workers.

The divorcee said she immediately lodged reports to both police and the Welfare Department so that the authorities could conduct their investigations.

At the same press conference, Soon Jie claimed that apart from himself and his siblings, some 30 other occupants there were also frequently beaten even for minor mistakes.

“On that day, I determined to escape using a ladder and climbed over a wall behind the welfare home, before walking to a bus station in Berapit about five kilometres away. At the same time, I asked around for money from the people to buy a bus ticket to Johor,” he told a press conference here today.

The siblings had to stay at the welfare home after Pan, who initially lived in Butterworth, had divorced with her husband four years ago and could not afford to take care all of her children with a salary of RM1,000 per month.

Following the reports, four of her children are now under care of the Welfare Department care while Soon Jie and his eight-year-old sister, Yeo Soon Yun are now living with their mother. Soon Yun is also now receiving medical treatment.

Meanwhile, Seberang Perai Tengah deputy police chief Superintendent Mohd Mustafa Bidin when contacted said police had received a report and that they would soon record statements from witnesses first.

The case was being investigated under Section 323 and 354 of the Penal Code for causing hurt and outraging of modesty respectively, he said. — Bernama.

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