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Malaysians angry as Sweden holds parents for hitting child

Published on Feb 1, 2014 4:51 PM
The children, (from left), Ammar 12, Adam 11, Arif 7 and Aisyah 14, with Deputy Minister Foreign Affair Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport this morning from Sweden. --PHOTO: THE STAR/ANN

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.

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