A mother and a father from Singapore have been detained after their 5-year-old son was found to be kept in a cat cage as punishment before he died in 2016 when the parents poured scalding water that reached 192-degrees on him and burned over 75-percent of his body.
The Mom’s Statement to Police
In a statement to police, 27-year-old Azlin Arujunah, the boy’s mother, said she didn’t want to kill her son, the Daily Mail reports. “How am I able to kill a child? Just look at my small body. I do not have the intention to pour the hot water on him if he did not show any attitude towards me.”
The mom told the authorities at the time that she only wanted her son to learn a lesson. “If I had the intention of killing him, I would have killed my other children as well. But all my other children are safe and I do not beat them. As a mother, I would not have the heart to kill my own child.”
They Poured Scalding Water on Him More Than Once
According to The Straits Times, at the time of his death, the boy was discovered to have third-degree burns and scratches all over his body, along with a fractured nose, his gums were torn, and he showed bruising on his limbs, scalp, and his lips.
Dr. Chan Shijia believes the scratches could have come from the cat catch he was allegedly kept in by his parents. As The Strait Times reports, during a court hearing, Dr. Shijia said the cage measured “less than three feet long, under two feet wide and just over two feet tall.”
As for the bruising that was found on his limbs, scalp, and lips, the doctor said those could have been the result of an extremely hard fall or punch. The doctor also believed the boy was battling pneumonia at the time of his passing.
According to prosecutors, pouring scalding water on the child was a reoccurring form of punishment Arujunah and her 27-year-old husband Ridzuan Mega Abdul Rahman would use. As the Daily Mail reports, the boy had scalding water poured on him at least four other times just before his death.
At one point before his passing, Rahman allegedly held a scalding spoon to the boy’s hand when he stole powdered milk to eat. And Arujanah hit him so hard in the stomach that it created marks after he accidentally spilled over a box of snacks.
The Day of the Young Boy’s Passing
The child was reportedly confined to the cat cage on the day he died. On October 22, 2016, the boy reportedly refused a bath from his mother, which angered her.
As punishment, the boy had scalding water poured over his back and calves. That’s when the boy stopped moving. However, according to prosecutors, the parents didn’t seek medical help for the boy until six hours later.
As The Straits Times reports, if the boy was given medical attention right away, he most likely would have survived.
If found guilty of murder, both Arujunah and Rahman will be given the death penalty. The boy’s identity, as well as his siblings’, have remained private.