Malaysia: School warden charged with murdering 7-year-old boy

It is believed to be one of the worst student abuse cases in Malaysia.

Updated: Apr 14, 2011, 16:08 PM IST

Kuala Lumpur: An Islamic school warden was charged on Thursday with the murder of a 7-year-old boy accused of stealing money from a classmate, in what is believed to be one of the worst student abuse cases in Malaysia, a government lawyer said.

Deputy public prosecutor Azman Abu Hassan said Hanif Mohamad Ali, 26, faces death by hanging if convicted of murdering the boy at a private Islamic school in northern Perlis state.

Saiful Syazani Saiful Sopfidee lapsed into a coma on March 31 after allegedly being tied to a window for two hours, caned and beaten up, Azman said.

The boy died in a hospital three days later with head and body injuries. Azman said the cause of death was due to a lack of oxygen arising from a neck compression, but it was unclear if he had been strangled or hit with brute force on the neck.

"He punished the boy because he suspected the boy stole 7 ringgit ($2.30) from his classmate, but it got out of hand," Azman said. "It`s a very sad case and one of the worst abuse cases involving a small boy."

Hanif was known to be strict during his two years` at the school`s boarding hostel, but has no record of student abuse, Azman said, adding that the warden`s role was to discipline the children and prevent any untoward behaviour.

The warden will enter his plea at the next court session on May 13, the prosecutor said.

Bureau Report