SEREMBAN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Muhammad Firdaus Dullah, who was found living in squalor in Nilai last month, has been discharged from the hospital where he was being treated.
The 15-year-old will live at a government-run welfare home after the state Welfare Department obtained a custodial order from the magistrate's court to care for him, said department director Abdullah Hanapi.
"The order will be in force for a month. And, if we cannot find any of his family members or relatives to care for him, we will apply for a permanent order for him to stay with us," he said on Thursday.
The crippled and mentally challenged teenager was found severely malnourished and emaciated by immigration officials who were conducting checks on illegal immigrants.
He was a picture of health at the hospital on Thursday. He shyly posed for photographs and bade farewell to his caretakers and nurses.
Muhammad Firdaus, who weighed less than 15kg when he came to the hospital, now tips 22kg on the scales.
And as fate would have it, his 40-year-old mother, who was charged on June 27 with neglecting and causing emotional pain and injury to Muhammad Firdaus, had her case re-mentioned at a Sessions Court near the hospital.
Lolanopita Sadi's case will go to trial on Nov 5.
Abdullah said Lolanopita visited Muhammad Firdaus twice when he was in the hospital.
"She had asked our permission to visit her son, and we allowed it on compassionate grounds," he said.
Muhammad Firdaus will celebrate Hari Raya with 79 other special needs children at his new home.
Abdullah said Malaysians and well-wishers contributed some RM85,885 (S$33,578) to a fund set up for Muhammad Firdaus.
"As trustee, I will deposit the money in a Tabung Haji account," he said. "Muhammad Firdaus can use the money in the account if he needs to."
Department staff were also seen loading three trolleys loaded with toys, food and diapers that were donated by well-wishers into a vehicle to be taken to his new home.
The hospital's dietician, Dr Basmawati Baharom, said the teenager had a good appetite.
"However, we have told the Welfare Department staff to give him more vegetables and fruits as he does not chew his food much," she added.