He lost one of his legs due to cell death following a severe abuse at the hands of a man – his mother's unemployed and syabu-addicted boyfriend – who subjected him to untold sufferings including burning his legs with cigarettes.
Over time the burns became gangrenous and one of his legs had to be amputated.
According to Ponniya Irham, an officer of the Welfare Services Department, the boy was initially staying with his grandfather here but was taken by his mother to Kota Kinabalu, and that was when the abuse began.
She said the woman and her boyfriend had been sentenced to jail for the offence, and the boy, now using a prosthetic leg, had been reunited with his grandfather here.
Ponniya related the story today while tabling a working paper at a seminar here to drive home the point about the scourge of syabu addiction.
She said 70 per cent of child abuse cases referred to the department were due to the involvement of parents or their guardians with syabu or methamphetamine.
Parents or guardians should therefore refrain from being involved in drug addiction, she said, as this would cause them to become abusive.
Other factors contributing to child abuse cases including getting married too young, and being ignorant about the importance of good parenting.
The one-day seminar was attended by about 200 participants and opened by Tanjung Batu assembly member Datuk Hamisa Samat.