Malaysian baby-beating clip spurs fury in Saudi

A four-minute U-Tube film showing a Malaysian woman savagely beating up her one-year-old baby triggered fury in Saudi Arabia as it was mistakenly published by local newspapers as that for an Asian housemaid torturing the son of her local employer. Malaysia later clarified that the incident took place in May 2011 and that the mother had been jailed.

The film showed the mother mercilessly hitting the child with the pillow, then punching him, slapping him on the face and head and pinching him. The more the child cried, the madder she became.

One Saudi newspaper said it published the film on Friday to warn the public against the “cruelty of housemaids” in the Gulf Kingdom.

“We urge all families to be more careful and to keep an eye on their maids…this is not the first incident of its kind in Saudi Arabia,” the Arabic language newspaper Sharq said.

The film and the brief report in Sharq drew angry reactions from Saudis, with one praying that the mother would go straight to hell. Another Saudi man took it on Saudi women, saying it was their fault.

“Damn this criminal mother….may God the Almighty send her to hell and does not give her any mercy, from which she deprived her own baby,” said a Saudi reader, who was not identified.

“This film shows that Saudi women only know how to eat and sleep…they just throw their own children to maids…if you do not want to bring up your own children, then why having babies,” said another.

Another Arabic language daily corrected its report and said the film was taken in Malaysia and quoted a government report in Kuala Kumpur as saying the woman was arrested on May 29 last year and is serving an 18-month jail sentence. “The film was mistakenly published as that of another incident involving maid’s violence against Saudi children,” Sabq said.

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