Malaysians angry as Sweden holds parents for hitting child
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia's prime minister on Saturday offered help to a Muslim couple detained in Sweden for hitting their son, in a case that has provoked an outcry in the Southeast Asian country.
Many in Muslim-majority Malaysia - where corporal punishment in schools is allowed - have questioned the parents' six-week detention and their children reportedly being placed with a non-Muslim foster family.
Azizul Raheem Awaluddin, a Malaysian tourism board director, and his wife Shalwati Nurshal, a teacher, were held on December 18 after they allegedly scolded and hit their youngest son on the arm for not performing his prayers, Malaysian media reported.
The four children - aged between seven and 14 years - arrived in Malaysia on Saturday after the country's authorities lobbied for their return. The parents remain in custody in Sweden.