Welfare dept to make sure ‘locked up kids’ well looked after – Director

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IN GOOD CONDITION: Zulkifli with the siblings at their uncle’s house. — Bernama photo

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Welfare Services Department (JKM) will ensure that the two children, who were locked up by their father on Dec 29, will be well looked after.

State JKM director Zulkifli Ismail said a one-month temporary custodial right over Tan Ming Zhi, 6, and her brother Tan Ming Han, 2, had been given to an uncle who was staying in Bayan Baru, here.

“JKM will continue to monitor to determine if their uncle can look after them, although he has been given custody of the children for one month,” he told Bernama after a surprise visit to the home of the children’s uncle recently.

In reports last month, police detained a man on suspicion of abusing his two children by tying up their legs and locking them up in the toilet of their home in Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth.

Zulkifli said, after what had happened to the two chidren, JKM would ensure that they were properly looked after.

“We will decide on the follow up action, after the one-month custody period is over, if the children are not well looked after,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Bernama check yesterday found the children in good condition and cheerful with their uncle.

In the report on Jan 4, Tan Hooi Keong, 43, the father of the two children, pleaded not guilty in the Butterworth Magistrate’s court on a charge of locking up the children in the toilet of their home which could cause physical and emotional harm.

Magistrate Mohd Zamir Suhaimee, however, allowed the accused to be released on a RM9,000 bail with one guarantor and fixed Feb 3 for remention of the case. — Bernama