By BEH YUEN HUI
SEREMBAN: “Have you seen my son? Do you know where he is?” a distraught 15-year-old mother kept asking tenants and shoppers at the five-storey Terminal One mall here yesterday.
At 1.30pm, Hue Xiao Pei had popped into a digital printing outlet on the upper ground floor of the mall to look for a job and left her year-old son Lee Ka Lok outside the premises while she attended an interview.
When she left the outlet 15 minutes later, she found her son missing.
Hue, who had gone shopping with her son, had spotted a notice stating that the printing outlet was looking for workers.
“I wanted to go inside for the interview but my son refused to enter, so I had no choice but to leave him outside,’’ she said.
Hue, who lives with her mother in Taman Jujur in Sikamat here, said her pink handbag that she left with her son was also nowhere to be found.
“My identity card, other documents as well as my son’s birth certificate were in the bag,’’ said the teenager who had divorced her 25-year-old husband six months ago.
Hue was seen distributing photocopies of a picture of her son and her contact number to tenants and shoppers.
Dozens of people including the mall’s management staff, tenants and shoppers joined in the search for around five hours but failed to locate the boy who was last seen wearing a red T-shirt and shorts.
Members of the Negri Sembilan MCA Crisis Relief Squad (CRSM) rushed to the mall when they were informed by others who were attending the launch of the state-level Consumers’ Day celebrations at the mall.
They helped Hue download a photograph of her son from her camera phone, made photocopies of the picture and helped her distribute them.
A police report was lodged at the Seremban district headquarters at about 7pm.
A check with the mall’s management found that the complex had no CCTV facility.
This is why most young mothers make terrible mothers. (Neither does it mean older mothers make better mothers, but probably they have their priorities in check better.)
Felt very frustrated reading this because the mother was just not thinking when she left her son in such a vulnerable position. How can she put the prospect of a job above her son’s safety? Surely she has more common sense than this sudden lapse of it? It’s easy to say she’s young and immature, but since when immaturity is synonymous with stupidity? And one really shouldn’t even bring a child with her when attending any job interview lest it brings a bad impression. Maybe she was so caught up with the possibility of getting a job. She really wasn’t thinking, and this is the price for it.
This is the real story, apparently.
By BEH YUEN HUI
SEREMBAN: Baby Lee Kah Lok is safe and sound but his mother could be in trouble.
Fifteen-year-old Hue Xiao Pei admitted to the police yesterday that she had made up the story about her year-old son being missing.
The girl, who is divorced from the child’s 25-year-old father, confessed that she had given Kah Lok away to a family in Johor as she could not afford to raise the baby.
The child was brought back here at 2.30pm after the police got the confession from her. The boy is now under the care of his father’s family.
In a twist of events, Hue, who is now going steady with an 18-year-old jobless youth, said she made up the story about her son gone missing to get away from the scolding of her mother and ex-boyfriend.
The child’s father is said to be recovering from injuries suffered after a fall from a roof he was fixing at the family home last year.
Negri Sembilan CID chief Asst Comm Huzir Mohamed said Hue admitted, after “much questioning”, that she had lodged a false report.
He said they contacted the family who wanted to adopt the boy and asked them to bring back the child here.
“Hue’s boyfriend brought the baby back and handed the child over to us at the commuter station here,” he said, adding that Kah Lok is safe and sound.
He said the police would forward their investigation papers to the Deputy Public Prosecutor, who would decide on the next course of action against Hue.
Hue had reportedly said she had gone to the Terminal One mall here on Thursday and left the little boy outside a digital printing outlet while she went in to enquire about a job.
After 15 minutes she came out of the shop and allegedly found her child missing.
Helped by some MCA members, she downloaded a photograph of her son from her camera phone, made copies of it and distributed the pictures to tenants and shoppers at the mall.
In her about-turn, she said she gave the baby away at the suggestion of her current boyfriend, who said that it would help to ease her burden and give the child a better future.
She said her boyfriend’s mother then introduced her to a woman, who said she wanted to adopt little Kah Lok.
They met at the Terminal One bus station at 1pm on Thursday and she gave the baby to the woman.
Hue, who has two brothers, aged 16 and five, said: “I am jobless and depending on my mother, a divorcee. She could hardly support all of us.”
The Negri Sembilan MCA crisis relief squad, which had helped to search for the baby, organised a press conference to mark the mother-and-child reunion.
However, the press conference was cancelled when the police called her to the district police headquarters, where she had a brief reunion with the baby.
“I want my son to have a better life and future,” she told reporters at the police station, where she had her statement recorded in connection with the false police report.
Accompanying her were her waitress mother, who wanted to only be known as Tham, 39, and several friends.
Tham apologised to all parties who had joined in the search for Kah Lok, when they first heard that the child had gone “missing”.
She said that like everyone else she did not know the truth until Hue confessed to the police.
The relief squad’s deputy chairman, Jason Lee, said they were happy that the baby was safe, which was their first concern.
This is even more stupid than the fake story she concocted. *hand slap forehead*