Death after caning mystery
Thursday April 2, 2009
By SARBAN SINGH
By FARIK ZOLKEPLI
GEMAS: Mystery surrounds the death of a nine-year-old pupil of SJK (C) Kampung Baru Tiong near here who died several hours after being caned on the back of his hands by a teacher.
Chan Qi Xian had complained of a severe headache after he was caned around noon on Tuesday for not doing his homework.
State Education Department director Datuk Abdullah Mohammad confirmed the case but was quick to add that the caning could not have possibly caused the boy’s death.
“I was told that the teacher caned the boy for failing to do his homework. That is a normal thing to do.
“His death is a mystery and we hope the post-mortem will be able to shed light on the actual cause of death,” he added.
Abdullah said the school authorities rushed the pupil to the Segamat Hospital when he complained of dizziness. They also contacted his parents.
When the boy’s condition deteriorated, doctors rushed Chan to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru.
However, it is learnt that the hospital authorities there told Qi Xian’s parents that his condition was critical and that he would not survive.
His parents then brought him home where he died at 3.30am yesterday.
Abdullah said that based on the headmaster’s report, Qi Xian did not suffer from any illnesses. “But we do not know if he had a medical condition,” he said.
Abdullah, who was away attending a meeting, said he would visit the school to talk to the teacher as well as other staff members about the incident.
Headmaster Lim Yan Ho refused to disclose details, adding that he had submitted a report to the state education department.
State police chief SAC I Datuk Osman Salleh said the boy could not have died due to the caning.
“It makes little sense to say that the death was due to the caning. We are doing our own investigations to see if the boy suffered from some medical condition,” he said.
He also advised parents to notify the school authorities if their children had medical problems. ”This will allow the school to have every pupil’s medical record.
“This way, we will be able to prevent untoward incidents, especially when disciplining them,” he said.
Qi Xian’s remains were brought to the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital here yesterday morning for a post-mortem. It is learnt that the autopsy would only be carried out today.
In Johor Baru,state health department director Dr Mohd Khairi Yakub said they would investigate the allegation that the Sultanah Aminah Hospital had turned away Qi Xian.