Mum of Malaysia child actress hurt in alleged chair-pulling incident to take legal action
Twelve-year-old Puteri Rafasya is still traumatised by the incident.
SINGAPORE: The mother of a child actress in Malaysia said she will pursue legal action after her daughter fractured her hip in an alleged chair-pulling incident on set.
Ms Fatin Aliza Salmi, 33, told CNA on Monday (Mar 20) that she has engaged a lawyer and is waiting for her daughter’s medical report before considering her next move.
According to local media reports, Puteri Rafasya, 12, fell on her back after the chair she was about to sit on was pulled by another child in a supposed prank.
Harian Metro reported that Puteri fractured her hip bone after she fell and hit her back against the metal leg of a tripod.
Ms Fatin said the incident took place on Feb 22, when members of the production team as well as herself and the parents of the girl who allegedly pulled the chair were on set. The girl is younger than Puteri, she said.
Ms Fatin first posted about the incident on social media on Feb 26, after she noted that no action was taken following the incident. In the days that followed, her daughter was confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk or sit.
Ms Fatin said she has not revealed on social media the identity of the girl or her parents out of goodwill, fearing how netizens could retaliate.
She said that the parents only apologised to her during an in-person meeting on Mar 13, more than two weeks after the incident.
The meeting was attended by both parties involved as well as representatives of the production team and the Malaysian Artistes Association (Seniman).
“Until now, a week after that, the parents have not stated any intention of visiting my child who had been in hospital for eight days. I did not get any SMS, WhatsApp or call from the parents,” she said.
“What do they think? After saying sorry, just leave it at that? I did not say I accepted their apology. That did not happen. I just listened because I was too emotional to talk. I actually couldn’t even bear to see their faces.”
According to Ms Fatin, some parties present during the Mar 13 meeting insisted that Puteri fell off the chair herself. The other girl’s parents also offered RM120 (US$27) as “assistance”, she said.
“So when I hear people making up stories like that, I just told them that I will leave it to my lawyers,” she said.
“Some of them said, ‘Why must you take this to court?’ I can’t stand that question. Because there’s no action being taken. What do you expect? For how long will the RM120 help?”
Ms Fatin said this amount would not even cover the cost of her child’s X-ray, although she declined to reveal how much she has paid in medical expenses thus far.
“We will leave this matter to the lawyers. This is actually a big issue - a safety issue with the production set. I don’t want to talk a lot about this production that I feel similarly didn’t want to be responsible,” she said.
PUTERI STILL TRAUMATISED BY INCIDENT
In her initial Instagram post on Feb 26, Ms Fatin shared that Puteri suffered injuries to her hip and waist in the incident. As a result, she had to wear diapers when she needed to urinate or defecate.
On Mar 10, she posted that Puteri was rushed to Kuala Lumpur Hospital as she had incontinence. She was later transferred to Tunku Azizah Hospital to be warded for further observation.
Ms Fatin told CNA that Puteri was hospitalised for eight days and was discharged on Mar 17. She can now walk slowly with the assistance of a cane and has stopped wearing diapers.
Ms Fatin said she is relieved Puteri’s condition has improved but remains worried about how this injury could bring other sudden illnesses in the future.
She described her sadness at seeing how her daughter misses the outdoors, especially when the latter sees her younger siblings going to school.
“She rode on ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) and went diving and swimming. Suddenly, she wears pampers and can’t move,” said the mother-of-three.
For now, Puteri is learning to walk without a cane and is scheduled for physiotherapy and follow-up appointments in the next few days. She is spending her days at home drawing and doing arts and crafts.
Ms Fatin estimated that she will be out of acting for at least three months. “And that is only if she wants to continue acting, given her trauma,” she said.
Puteri has appeared in the television movies Korban Adha as well as Sesekali. Last year, she filmed the movie Telaga Suriram with famed Malaysian actress Maya Karin. In 2020, she appeared in the second season of the popular television series 7 Hari Mencintaiku alongside Siti Saleha and Shukri Yahaya.
Ms Fatin pointed out that Puteri still thinks about the incident, sometimes telling her mum that she does not feel like she should be sitting on chairs.
“She doesn’t feel she should be in some places. I say, ‘No this chair is for you and you should be there, not somewhere else.’ And if she still can’t move on, I might have to bring her to a psychiatrist,” she added.
Ms Fatin urged parents and teachers to educate children that pulling chairs as a prank is extremely dangerous.
“It is not a prank, unless you are prepared to paralyse other people’s kids and go to court,” she added.
“We can’t blame kids 100 per cent, so we have to teach them. They think this is funny, but it is not funny.”
Read this story in Bahasa Melayu here.
Read this story in Bahasa Indonesia here.