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Were the Cages for Handicapped Children at Batu Gajah Cages Justified?

Sometimes, citizen journalism helps an old man sell soft toys. Sometimes, facts get twisted.


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Were the Cages for Handicapped Children at Batu Gajah Cages Justified?
As they say in America, "If you see something, say something." The expression was coined after 9/11 and was used to report suspicious packages on public transportation in New York. And now with two separate viral reports by the rakyat on Facebook, one regarding physical abuse at an old folks' home and another about locked up disabled kids, we're seeing more and more rakyat journalism on the rise. 

Because of citizen journalism, Pokemon soft toy uncle, David, now has a steady income to pay for cancer treatment, the All Mighty Old Folks home in Malacca has since shut down, and bootcamps are now snake-free

Now, the Rumah Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Cacat (RKKKC) in Perak is under fire for locking up 10 of their mentally-challenged residents of the home in cages. The revelation was brought to light by a netizen on Facebook. Her post below: 

The problem is that the pictures don't show the full picture. 

We've compiled all of the defenses that Rumah Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Batu Gajah chairman Sivalingam Ramasamy has said in the defense of the cages and we've listed them down below: 

1. They were forced to keep some severely mentally disabled inmates in pens at night as they lack funds to build rooms for all the inmates. - FMT

2. He said that come bedtime, the severely disabled inmates would usually 'attack' the others by biting and poking them in the eyes while they were sleeping. - FMT

3. "We had to separate these children to keep the others safe and since our funding is so small, our only resort was to put them in those pens." - FMT

4. Due to the lack of funds, they could only afford to pay the workers a small allowance, which was not sufficient to keep them. They have 47 disabled residents and the centre can only afford to employ six full-time workers to monitor them. - FMT

5. The practise began in 2006/2009 (reports are varied) and the Department of Welfare is aware of the practise. - FMT/The Star

6. “If we don’t do this, they will bite one another, hurt the eyes of the other residents, or go naked. They would even defecate and throw faeces at the rest." - The Star

7. He said previously, severely mentally-handicapped residents were tied with ropes before he came on board. - The Star
 

World of Buzz first broke the news and their Facebook post has brought in a bevy of comments including a curious one from a Zabarang Karen Leong, who shares an email exchange between her and WOB editors: 

 
On Oct 24, 2016 6:20 PM, "Karen WOB Contact" <enquiry@worldofbuzz.com> wrote:
From: Karen <yckaren@hotmail.com>
Subject: Disabled kids lock up in cage refer to Rumah Kebajikan Kanak Kanak Cacat Batu Gajah

Dear editor,
Im karen , one of the volunteer who concern regarding the well management for the house and feel sad as editor and so called vivien should have a short meeting with the person in charge Mr. Siva or Ms. Maleeka... Please publish after all evidence


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Disabled kids lock up in cage refer to Rumah Kebajikan Kanak Kanak Cacat Batu Gajah
From: Michelle Tan 
To: yckaren@hotmail.com

Hi Karen, thanks for reaching out. Even so, why are the children locked up in cages in the first place? Isit possible for you to clarify on that. Also, do you possibly have their emails so I can contact them. Thank you.

And finally, Karen's reply to WOB:

Dear, the child is lock up as they will walk around without monitoring... and they will fight each others as some is not as friendly as you see...
and the staff is limited to take care of the kids and also funding for the house have been cut down from goverment.
all the expenses ia well manage and the expenses needed definitely not sufficient to sustain if you undetstand the needs of the kids there.
meals, medical, wages, water electricity, pampers... ext...
how many are willing to serve the community inside the house...
smelly ? definitely as the antibacteria detergent is use to clean up the space...
Im from the church nearby, and ive been observing what is incorrect from the management... ao when claim that the management so call eating money, thats make nonsence statement.


It does seem as though we're not seeing the full picture. Regardless, many 'keyboard warriors' have come up with their own 'solutions' to the issue which have exacerbated matters. 

Have we gone too far this time? Has citizen journalism turned into vigilantism? You decide. 


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