Abused Johor schoolboy dies

Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi had his legs amputated, after allegedly being whipped with a water hose.
Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi had his legs amputated, after allegedly being whipped with a water hose.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JOHOR BARU • The 11-year-old Malaysian boy whose legs were amputated following alleged physical abuse at a religious school in Kota Tinggi, Johor, has died.

Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi died at Sultan Ismail Hospital in Johor Baru yesterday afternoon.

He was scheduled to have his right arm amputated yesterday morning, after it turned black owing to damaged blood cells and tissue. The operation was cancelled as his heart rate and condition were not stable.

Mohamad Thaqif had his legs amputated last week following an infection after allegedly being whipped with a water hose by an assistant warden at the religious school he attended.

He also underwent dialysis to treat his failing kidneys.

The assistant warden, 29, a former convict, has been detained by police.

SUBJECT TO ABUSE

My nephew said that sometimes, he and his friends would volunteer to get beaten first as they wanted to go to bed early, since they had to wake up at 3am for prayers.

MADAM DZURAIDAH AHMAD, Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi's aunt.

Yesterday, police said they have reclassified the case as murder. In a tweet, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar offered his condolences to the victim's family.

"The case has been reclassified under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder. Police are waiting for the full medical report and will complete the investigation as soon as possible," he tweeted.

Prime Minister Najib Razak expressed his condolences to the boy's family and asked for investigations to be conducted swiftly.

"I want the investigations into the case to be accelerated, so that we know the cause of his death and for legal action to be taken if there was an offence," he said on his Facebook page yesterday.

He later spoke to the boy's father, Mohd Gaddafi Mat Karim, 43, by telephone.

State Health, Environment, Information and Education Committee chairman Ayub Rahman said the post-mortem on Mohamad Thaqif to determine the cause of his death began at 6pm yesterday and would take between two and five hours, "depending on the complexity of the infection".

On Monday, the boy's aunt Dzuraidah Ahmad, 38, said her nephew had previously complained about beatings at his school.

"My nephew said that sometimes, he and his friends would volunteer to get beaten first as they wanted to go to bed early, since they had to wake up at 3am for prayers," she claimed.

She added that her family had found the boy's diary, in which he wrote about the torment that he had to endure. "My nephew wrote he was punched for no reason and could no longer stand the abuse, and wanted to transfer to a different school," Ms Dzuraidah said.

In one entry, she said, the boy wrote that he was punched in the buttocks after being told by the assistant warden to wash some mugs.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline 'Abused Johor schoolboy dies'. Print Edition | Subscribe