A 16-month-old Chinese-Indonesian infant – rushed to hospital on November 22 after allegedly suffering severe physical abuse – was found to be “brain dead” on Monday morning.

The boy’s 26-year-old Indonesian mother had been arrested for suspected child abuse and was being held in custody to assist police with inquiries into his death, Guang Ming Daily (Malaysia) reported.

At 9:20pm last Wednesday, Kepala Batas Hospital alerted Malaysian police to a case of suspected child abuse. Staff said the baby boy was unconscious and had sustained a traumatic head injury. He allegedly also had bruises on his left eye, chest and left leg.

His mother told police her son fell to the floor and had hit his head while playing in the living room. She was allegedly alone with the boy at home when the incident occurred, according to a report by Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia).

A further examination by a pediatrician revealed that the infant was covered with old and new bruises received on more than one occasion, which suggested his injuries did not stem from an accident.

Meanwhile, the child was transferred to an intensive-care unit at Penang General Hospital. At 10.45am on Monday, the boy was found to be ‘brain dead’, and then certified dead at 5:05pm that afternoon.

The preliminary cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage.

Neighbors allegedly told police the mother would beat the child after her husband left home to go to work. She would then appear normal when the man was present, which made them suspect that she might have a mental condition.