Hong Kong's child-protection policies need a shake-up in the wake of the torture-killing of a two-year-old infant by her parents in Shamshuipo, rights groups and lawmakers said yesterday. Democratic Party legislator Wong Sing-chi said Friday's jailing of 34-year-old Ng Tin-wah for 10 years for torturing his baby girl until she died was too lenient. 'I would not have been surprised if Ng had been given life imprisonment if the ruling had been made overseas,' he said. 'The suffering of the child must be many times larger than that of other manslaughter victims because she was killed by the ones closest to her.' Ng Wing-sum died after being bashed, burnt and kicked by her father on a daily basis over two months after she was released into her parents' care from a government creche last year. Her injuries were so extensive the pathologist at her postmortem examination was forced to group them into 20 different lots. Her mother, Fung Kin-man, was ordered to serve eight years in jail for manslaughter and failing to prevent the abuse by her husband. Mr Wong said the ruling reflect- ed the general hesitation of society to use judicial means to protect children's rights. 'The problem in Hong Kong is the absence of an investigation team in the security force to look into family violence cases,' he said. 'Social workers often face tremendous difficulties shouldering the contradictory roles of helping the family to settle disputes and prosecuting abusers.' Billy Wong Wai-yuk, executive secretary of the Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights, urged the government to consider raising the penalties for child abusers. 'I agree there should be soft approaches for protecting children. But there are also some parents who are irresponsible and deserve punishment,' she said. 'For example, the current mechanism makes it very difficult to prosecute parents for leaving their child alone at home unless the child demonstrates severe wounds or dies as a result.' Priscilla Lui Tsang Sun-kai, director of Against Child Abuse, said penalties for child abusers should be systematically reviewed. 'The judgment in child abuse cases is individual and situational,' she said. The Social Welfare Department said yesterday there had been a slight increase in the number of child abuse cases this year, but refused to give statistics. Critics called for the department to work more closely with family doctors to prevent a similar tragedy occurring again. Department officials have been criticised for refusing to release a picture of Wing-sum taken while she was in care, before the abuse. Officials said that they had to protect the privacy of the parents. But Ho Hei-wah, director of the watchdog Society for Community Organisations, said the department's response was unreasonable. 'The girl is already dead and both of the parents were convicted of manslaughter. I don't see why it is a problem to show the healthy, happy face of the girl,' he said.