Sleepy little town of Kuala Kubu Baru is just about one and half hour’s drive from the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. It is a very picturesque town in the hills. Tucked behind Kuala Kubu Baru hospital and golf course, is an institution called Taman Sinar Harapan . This institution was set up in 1984 by Ministry of welfare Services, Government of Malaysia, to provide custodial care for severely mentally retarded children and young adults below age of 25. It can house 400 male and female inmates.
Sounds very impressive, isn’t it? Well! A private investigating team visited this institution few days back and found in the locked rooms of the home, some 30 naked men-some chained and caged. Their bodies were covered in their own faeces and urine. The men looked just skin and bones and were extremely frail. You cannot believe this! O.K. Have a look at this photograph.
The inmates, who were not in cages, were locked to metal beds with metal chains. There were no mattresses or pillows on the bed. This was supposed to have been done to avoid self-injury by them. No clothes were provided to them so they could not hang themselves. Under these conditions, I am sure, that even a sane person would like to hang himself.
What a cruel way to care for mentally challenged persons? I am sure you would agree.
6 July 2009