MALAYSIA — A Malaysian Chinese youth who abused and set fire to a stray dog issued an apology late Thursday and promised to cover the dog’s medical expenses, while pleading for a chance to reform, with many netizens questioning the sincerity behind his apology.
The youth’s apology video was made in response to the outrage of netizens calling for justice for the innocent animal after CCTV videos of his acts went viral.
The footage, shared by Leow Yee Chin on Tuesday (28 Mar), showed acts of abuse by a male individual in front of his premises, where he repeatedly hit a stray dog with a metal rod before leaving in his car.
The male then returned to the same location, beat the dog again, and threw a brick at it.
He proceeded to light the dog on fire, causing it to run away with its tail ablaze. According to the CCTV time stamp, this took place on Monday (27 Mar) around 1 am.
Leow discovered that the same male had previously been caught on CCTV throwing a vase at other stray dogs on 8 March in the same location.
Additionally, in another CCTV footage from 14 March, the male can be seen throwing bricks and rocks at the dogs:
My Forever Doggo, an animal advocacy page, reported that the stray dog has two fractured legs, one in the front and one in the back, as well as first to second-degree burns. The dog is currently receiving treatment and is expected to require three to six months to recover.
On Monday, veterinary surgeon Mazeleen Laila Reduan posted a condemnation of the 19-year-old’s actions on Facebook, expressing her disgust at the incident.
“This is a frustrating day when humans are worse than Satan himself..until now, I still can’t understand why you hit the dog and then came back to burn it at 2 am…thankfully the dog did not suffer a third-degree burn.”
The veterinarian has lodged a police report and is waiting for the authorities to take the necessary action.
Male youth posts video of his apology
Following the viral video of his act, the male youth posted a 45-second video on Thursday apologizing for his actions.
The youth first thanked everyone for their attention to the matter and admitted that he was responsible for it.
“I know no matter how I explain it, I should not and cannot do it. So, I admit my mistake.”
He confessed that he had learned a lesson, was very sorry for what happened, and would reflect and repent.
“I’m really sorry. I promise here that I will never do this again. I hope everyone can give me a chance to reform, and I’m willing to cover the medical expenses.”
Before the end of the video, the young man bowed to the camera and apologized again.
However, the hundreds of comments under the video showed that netizens did not buy his apology as a sincere one, with some saying he showed no sincerity throughout the entire video.
Some netizens questioned the young man, “If I burned you and beat you until you broke your bones, would it be enough for you to apologize and cover your medical expenses?”
Some believe that if the incident had not been exposed, the young man would have continued to abuse the dog, and that the youth’s video was only made under external pressure.
One wrote, “It is disgusting, and it is a talent to be able to recite a script to resemble that which is found in the toilet.”
Another noted that the family’s initial reaction was alleged to be nonchalant, and the youth had lied about only abusing the dog once, while the CCTV footage showed otherwise.
The netizen shared a news report of the incident where it states the youth’s mother had initially refused to pay anything for the medical fees of the dog and said that they would engage a lawyer to deal with the matter.
He also shared that videos of the stray dog have been shared, showing that the dog does not behave in any way aggressive to strangers.
Youth’s parent allegedly requested vet to retract police report
My Forever Doggo mentioned in the post that in response to the growing public outcry, the offender’s grandparents came forward to seek forgiveness from the public.
The page said the male’s mother allegedly went to the clinic, requesting the veterinarian to retract the police report.
“She allegedly shared that hurting the dog was a trivial matter, citing that the dog will bite others if left outside.”
On Wednesday, a Facebook user believed to be the offender’s parent publicly apologized on social media on behalf of his son’s actions.
“As the mother of the offender, I take this matter seriously and admit my fault. After understanding the whole situation, I immediately took my child to the veterinary clinic where the incident occurred to sincerely apologize and hope that the other party can accept and forgive my child.”
The post also included a police report claiming that in November of the previous year, the offender was chased by a stray dog, which caused him to fall and suffer a broken left hand and scratches on his left leg. The parent further claimed that his son was also seriously injured, with broken bones, fractures, and dislocations, requiring long-term treatment.
“He realizes his mistakes and closely cooperates with the police and animal protection associations to investigate the matter.”
“As a mother, we all hope to handle this matter in a low-key manner, and of course, we are willing to accept all the wrong behavior and legal responsibilities. At this point, my child and I sincerely apologize and hope to receive forgiveness and acceptance from society, giving my child an opportunity to turn over a new leaf,” the post wrote.
Investigation ongoing, says Johor police
On Thursday, the northern Johor Bahru district police confirmed that they had received a police report on Monday (27 Mar) from a member of the public regarding an incident in which a dog was beaten and burned alive by a local man suspected to be from the area.
The incident is believed to have taken place near an animal clinic around Taman Impian Emas, Skudai, Johor Bahru. The complainant made the police report to refer the case to the veterinary department for investigation into animal cruelty.
The Johor State Veterinary Department is currently investigating the case, and the authorities are carrying out the investigation under section 29 (1) (e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2015, which carries a penalty of a minimum fine of RM 25,000 and a maximum of RM 100,000 or imprisonment up to three years or both if convicted.