New twist in Malaysia 'pawned baby' case

IPOH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The case of an eight-month-old baby allegedly "pawned" by the mother for RM3,500 (S$1.363) has taken a new twist, with the couple taking care of the boy claiming that he was given up for adoption.

K. Kanagavalli of Malim Mawar had alleged that she had agreed to part from her son for two days in return for the loan from Norhidayu Badrol.

Norhidayu's husband, who declined to be named, said Kanagavalli's neighbour known as Rani, told him that the baby was up for adoption when he was in Malim Nawar to visit his mother's grave.

"I went to look at the baby and found the boy neglected. There were insect bites all over his body and he was fed with the cheapest milk available. I spoke to my wife and she agreed that we should take care of the baby," the husband said.

"But we made our stand very clear to Kanagavalli that we did not want to buy the baby as we have three children of our own.

"We only wanted to give the boy a better life.

"However, pitying Kanagavalli for her financial problem, we gave her a token of RM3,500."

He said that he and Norhidayu lodged a police report after taking the baby to cover themselves and also make it easier for them to adopt the child legally.

"I was shocked when Kanagavalli started making accusations against my wife through the media," he said.

Kanagavalli had told reporters on Wednesday that Norhidayu was supposed to keep the boy for only two days in return for the money she needed to settle 15 traffic summonses slapped on her express bus driver husband which prevented him from working.

Norhidayu's husband said that after taking the baby back to Selangor, his wife received a call from Kanagavalli stating that the baby was suffering from a heart ailment, and she wanted him back as he was going to die.

"But our own doctor and the hospital where the boy was born declared him to be fine. After a few days, Kanagavalli called my wife again and offered to pay her RM5,000 to get her son back," he added.

According to Norhidayu's husband, they have learnt that another family had offered RM20,000 to adopt the child.

Hence, all sorts of stories were being made up to get the baby back.

"If she had genuinely told me that she missed her baby, wanted to provide him a better life, and had made a big mistake by giving him away, we would have given back her son," he said.

When contacted Kampar OCPD Supt Ng Kong Soon denied reports that the deal to hand over the baby took place inside the Malim Nawar police station.

He said the family who took the baby did lodge a report at the station after the deal was settled between the two families.

"We have taken statements from both parties, and I hope to call for a press conference soon," he added.

Kanagavalli could not be reached for comments, but Buntong assemblyman A. Siva-subramaniam, who arranged her press conference on Wednesday, said that she had told him that she was planning to lodge a report against Norhidayu for kidnapping her child.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.