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September 16

Nine-month-old boy allegedly abused by babysitter dies

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The body of baby Aariz being taken to Sibu Hospital mortury. — Bernama photo

SIBU: The nine-month-old baby boy who was allegedly abused by his babysitter at a house in Jalan Permai here, passed away at Sibu Hospital yesterday.

Aariz Harraz Zahin Azman was taken off life support at 11.30am and breathed his last at 11.55am.

Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health Dr Annuar Rapaee, who was with the family to console them, said the baby’s parents had agreed for the life support to be removed.

“It is indeed very tragic because it has been alleged that the baby had been abused with severe brain injury. The doctors had diagnosed the baby as being brain dead and there was no chance of survival.

“I was told that there will be a post-mortem to be carried out,” he told The Borneo Post and Utusan Borneo when met at MUC hall here yesterday.

Dr Annuar, who is also Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research, said this was a painful lesson for the victim’s parents as well as for the community here as a whole.

“I hope parents when sending their children to any home-run babysitter or nanny to be careful and keep an eye on their children as well as the place besides ensuring its operations are carried out safely (sic).

“It is a very sad day for the family and Sibu community to hear that a nine-month-old baby has died because of alleged abuse. We don’t want such tragic incident to recur,” added the Nangka assemblyman.

Meanwhile, Sibu police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit said following the baby’s passing, the case has been reclassified as murder.

He said police are now investigating the case under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder instead of the previous classification under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001.

He added that the 39-year-old suspect, who was remanded for four days last Wednesday, will be remanded further until Jan 17.