Malaysian boy who died after abuse had bright future stolen from him

Yee Xiang Yun
The Star / Asia News Network
Apr 27, 2017

He loved playing football and wanted to memorise the whole of the Quran. He will not be able to do either.

Abused boy Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi has died after eight days of battling for his life, breathing his last even as his family was praying for his recovery. He was only 11.

Thaqif, fondly known as Akin, was a bubbly and active boy who loved playing football.

He could recite a Yassin passage from memory and wanted to go on to become a hafiz, someone who has committed the Quran to memory.

However, he was brutally abused at the religious school he attended in Kota Tinggi and had both his legs amputated due to bacterial infection.

His arm was about to be amputated too, but he died before the operation at 2.05pm yesterday.

The case has now been classified as murder.

Moments after his passing at Hospital Sultan Ismail's (HSI) high dependency ward, his father, businessman Mohd Gaddafi Mat Karim, said he could not come to terms that his son was gone.

"We were reciting prayers to pray for his recovery when he drew his last breath.

"Now my son is gone. We will have to face it," said Mohd Gaddafi, a former Selangor football player, when met yesterday.

The 43-year-old said the family had not expected the death as they were preparing for Mohamad Thaqif to be sent to the operating theatre for his right arm to be amputated due to the spreading infection.

The procedure had to be put off as the boy's heart rate was too high and condition unstable, he said.

Mohamad Thaqif was admitted to HSI on April 19 and had both his legs amputated due to bacterial infection.

A 29-year-old assistant warden at the private religious school is alleged to have whipped him with a water hose as punishment.

The boy's cries for help in his diary had gone unnoticed. He had detailed his torment, which reportedly started in March with the assistant warden whipping and punching him for no reason.

In one entry, he pleaded to God to open his parents' hearts to transfer him out of the school as he "could not take the torture anymore".

The assistant warden is said to be a former convict.

Read also: Boy loses legs after warden's beatings: I cannot stand it anymore

Thaqif's aunt Dzuraidah Ahmad, 38, said the whole family shared a close-knit relationship and they often spent time together during school holidays.

She said it was Mohamad Thaqif's ambition to memorise the Quran and he had worked hard at it.

"We were all proud of him as he could recite the Yassin chapter from memory with his mother at a gathering during the recent school holidays. Now, this has happened," said the businesswoman, who could not hold back her tears.

The family is waiting for the police to finish their probe and may take legal action if it is confirmed that the boy was abused at school.