22 February 2014

A child protection case Malaysia / Sweden

By Marianne Haslev Skånland

Four children of Malaysian parents were in December 2013 taken into care in Sweden and the parents were jailed for physical abuse. The children were extensively interrogated and video recordings made.

The criminal case against the parents started in Stockholm on 18 February 2014 and was planned to run for two weeks. This is a long and comprehensive court treatment and will probably result in the prosecutor asking for a long prison sentence.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian authorities, right at the top - prime minister and deputy foreign minister - took efficient steps to get the children out of the Swedish foster home: the deputy foreign minister went to Sweden himself and brought the children back with him to Malaysia. They are now living with relatives and have started school at local, public schools.

The case has stirred up a lot of publicity and public interest in Malaysia. Most of it has, however, centred on child raising and legal procedure: whether or not spanking of children is good or bad, the long time the parents were kept in detention without a charge, whether punishing one's children physically should give a prison sentence, a fine, expulsion or no reaction at all.

My own three articles relating to the case were published by the internet-based Free Malaysia Today (FMT), and have been linked to or copied on some other websites. A version of the first article also appeared (on paper) in New Straits Times.

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
The Malaysian children held in Sweden need their own family
19 February 2014

Published in Free Malaysia Today with the title:
Ask Sweden to return kids to M'sia
29 January 2014

Published considerably abbreviated in New Straits Times as:
CHILD PROTECTION CASE: Try to bring kids home
31 January 2014

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
When Malaysians are attacked by Western child protection – what to do?
20 February 2014

Published, somewhat abbreviated, in Free Malaysia Today with the title:
Be aware of Western child protection systems
5 February 2014

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
Foster care – which Sweden wanted for Malaysian children
21 February 2014

Published in Free Malaysia Today with the title:
The dark side of Swedish foster care
17 February 2014


Articles by two Scandinavian lawyers published in Malaysia:

Jørgen Stueland:
Child protection: The Norwegian way
Free Malaysia Today, 1 February 2014

Dag Sverre Aamodt:
The child care service in Scandinavia
Free Malaysia Today, 22 February 2014

Links to a large number of articles about the case:
Malaysian family in Sweden – children taken
Forum Redd Våre Barn, 22 January 2014 –