'Hacked toddler was a cheerful boy'

FARIS FUAD

SUBANG JAYA: The toddler hacked to death by his own father at the Puchong Permai flat yesterday had always been a happy child, a neighbour remarked. "I have never heard his parents fighting, the child also looked happy all the time," Puchong Permai flat resident S Letchumy said. The five-year-old boy who was sleeping in the living room of his home at the time was hacked with a parang three times on the head and right wrist. Police believe the father was addicted to 'ketum' and also tested positive for methamphetamine, in addition to having a criminal record related to drugs.


The toddler hacked to death by his own father at the Puchong Permai flat yesterday had always been a happy child, a neighbour remarked. Photo courtesy of reader

Letchumy, 68, said she had never seen signs of abuse on the boy, adding that the child had always been cheerful whenever he played together with her grandchild. "They have been living here for a year, I have never heard them (victim's parents) argue, It'd be sinful if I lied. "I live right next door, sometimes the boy would come over to my house to play with my grandchild. "Although the boy doesn't talk too much, he always looked cheerful like any other child," Letchumy said when met today. Apart from that, Letchumy said the suspect had always been friendly with the other residents. "To my knowledge, the suspect works as a Rela member at night, meanwhile the mother works at a nearby departmental store, from morning until late in the afternoon," she informed. "Sometimes I would bump into the boy's father and we would have a normal conversation. "I have only heard good things about the father, there has never been any bad incident like fights or aggressive behaviour," she said. Meanwhile, another neighbour, G Raja, 68 claimed the victim appeared closer to his mother than his father. "I always see the child with his mother. If his mother wasn't at work, he would be trailing her everywhere she goes, including when she was out hanging clothes to dry," he said. Raja who is a taxi driver said the suspect had borrowed money from him before to buy cigarettes and milk. "Sometimes, the father would borrow RM50. "I help whenever I can, I understand, there may be times families face financial difficulties," he said. The 35-year-old father was arrested at his home yesterday and he claimed that he hacked his son to death after hearing 'voices' telling him to do so. Subang Jaya district police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohammad Azlin Sadari in a statement last night said with the arrest, police considered the case which has been classified under Section 302 of the Penal Code, as ‘solved’ and that the suspect would be remanded at the Petaling Jaya court today. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd