First, Our deepest sympathies and prayers go to the deceased Brian Goh Kah Heng and his family.
Check this out:
An illegally run centre for people with learning disabilities. They had no approval from the Department of Social Welfare (JKM) to operate. And none, obviously, from the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) as well because permits are only given with the JKM's blessings - in writing.
As many as nineteen persons with learning disabilities - possibly of various ages - were cooped up in what clearly seems like an overcrowded situation. People with special needs have specific needs related to their type of disability and should never be "lumped together". It may seem like the "easiest thing" to do. But it certainly IS NOT the right; and professional, and wisest thing to do.
Two caretakers were looking after the boys. (We assume, at this time, that it was an all-boys outfit.) One of them, at least, is said to be an illegal worker. Who was the manager or supervisor? Where were the professionals or experts who are specially trained to work with people with learning disabilities? Did anyone have any knowledge at all about autism or cerebral palsy? At least the head of the centre should have a good knowledge or training to work with people with learning disabilities.
One can't really expect or blame the Welfare Department for not spotting out this dubious centre - which by the way has been operating (most probably for profit) for a good three years. Hence it is essential for local councils - in this case, the MBPJ - to do active and vigilant monitoring of all disabled and elderly outfits - together with JKM - in order to ensure their professionalism in their delivery of their services.
Or do local councils look at the disabled only with pity and displaced sympathy?
It is time for both the federal and the local councils to raise the quality of care and services of disabled and elderly centres to one where their dignity, rights and safety are protected.
It should not and never be about profit-making at all but rather on what is ethically right and wrong.
Otherwise, Brian's suffering and death would only have been in vain.
Thursday October 28, 2010
Man held over teen’s death
PETALING JAYA: A foreigner has been remanded in connection with the death of an autistic teenager, who is believed to have been abused and sodomised at a centre for the disabled.
Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed said the 26-year-old man was picked up at Section 3 near here at 2pm on Tuesday and police obtained a seven-day remand for him yesterday.
The man was a caretaker at the centre.
It was later found that he did not have any work permit.
“We have recorded statements from several witnesses and more people may be questioned before we wrap up investigations,” he said.
ACP Arjunaidi said investigations revealed that the centre was not registered with the Welfare Department.
It is learnt that the shelter in Section 18, believed to have started operations about three years ago, has two caretakers looking after 19 mentally-disabled patients.
The funeral of Brian Goh Kah Heng, 19, was conducted at 10am yesterday and he was buried at the Lutheran Gardens cemetery in Kampung Melayu, Subang.
His mother, Elizabeth Chin, 50, said she noticed there were bruises on her son during her last visit to the centre two weeks ago but was told by the caretaker that the boy had fallen.
Goh, who was sent to the home in May, had cerebral palsy and autism.
On Sunday, the family received a telephone call from the centre, informing them that Goh was having breathing difficulties.
The family quickly took him to the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
A post-mortem revealed that he had a ruptured spleen and severe injuries to his anus.
Doctors also found severe internal injuries and bruises on the teen.
It was learnt that police recovered a metal rod from the centre which could have been used in abusing the victim.
The case is being investigated as a murder.
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