KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
A four-minute video of a Malaysian woman beating her baby daughter has generated a storm of outrage online. The video, which was filmed about a year ago, shows the mother repeatedly striking the baby with her hand, her foot and a pillow.
The global reaction this week after the video went viral prompted Malaysian Police to announce the teenage mother is already serving an 18-month prison sentence for the offence. In a post on their Facebook page this week, the Malaysian Police said they had received hundreds of complaints and comments about the case in recent days.
The mother was 18 years old when she inflicted the beating on her 10-month-old child in May last year, according to Arjunaidi Mohamed, the chief of police in Petaling Jaya, the suburb of Kuala Lumpur where the attack took place. A friend of the mother, who had become concerned after witnessing her beating the child previously, filmed the violence and took the video evidence to the police the same day, Arjunaidi said. As a result, the mother was convicted of child abuse and sentenced to 18 months in prison, he said, declining to disclose her name. The baby was put into the care of a foster family after her mother's arrest.
The initial furor this week among Internet users over the video appeared to stem from uncertainty about when the beating took place and the current status of the mother and child. Once the Malaysian Police clarified the situation, online reactions consisted of relief that the authorities had intervened and dismay that the mother had not received a harsher sentence.
Arjunaidi, the police chief, refuted speculation that the mother had been raped before committing the abuse. He said the woman was unmarried. He ascribed the cause of her actions to "frustration."