PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A photo showing a primary school pupil with one leg chained to a lamp post at an apartment building has gone viral on the internet, shocking many Malaysians who took to social media to voice their anger.
The 30-year-old mother of the eight-year-old girl said she did it as punishment because her daughter did not want to go to school at Bandar Sunway.
"The mother has humiliated her daughter in a lifelong way. This once happened to a friend I knew. He held it against his father for 50 years," wrote Star Online reader Susan Abraham.
Another netizen Raynuha Mahadevan was also upset with passers-by who were more interested in snapping pictures of the girl than helping her.
"Shame upon all the bystanders & the person who took these pictures revealing the child's face!"
Subang Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Mohammad Azlin Sadari said police were alerted to the incident at Lagoon Perdana apartment in Bandar Sunway at about 6.35pm on Wednesday (Oct 26).
"When our men arrived at the scene, they found the girl surrounded by people with her leg chained," he said, adding that the mother who arrived later admitted to doing it.
The mother and girl were taken to the Subang Jaya district police headquarters for questioning and then released.
ACP Azlin said it was the first time the girl was chained. Police are investigating the case under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001.
Speaking out against the punishment, Dr Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar, one of the leading psychologists in the country, said autocratic parenting and harsh punishments would not make children to go to school.
"Instead, it may be counter-productive and jeopardise their learning abilities," he said.
"In terms of disciplining, that was obviously wrong.
"If the mother wants her to go to school, she must devise some ways to reward her for going to school, maybe like praise or acknowledgement. Punishment will only make the child fear school more," he added.