JOHOR BAHRU: “We were set up by our neighbour.”
This is what the parents of three children, ”rescued” by the Social Welfare Department (JKM) from their house in Larkin Perdana here three days ago, claimed today.
The children’s father, who requested to be known only as Amran, 33, said on the day of the incident, he and his wife attended a course at a factory in Gelang Patah.
They had left three of their children under the care of a neighbour, who is a housewife.
“When we got back at 8pm (Aug 3), I found the three children missing and was told by the neighbour that they were with JKM.
“My youngest daughter, who is eight months old, was left with a baby-sitter in Kampung Melayu Majidee.
“We left the three children, aged between two and six, because the neighbour, whom we regarded as a sister, volunteered to take care of them,” he said when met by reporters here today.
Amran, who is from Sabah, claimed that the neighbour knew he and his wife had to attend a two-day course, which was on Aug 2 and 3, at the factory before they were to start work as factory operators, and volunteered to look after the children while they were away.
“Before we left at 7am, my wife prepared food for the children, but did not bathe them because it was still too early and they were still sleeping then.
“We did not neglect the children, but left them with the neighbour because she wanted to take care of them.
“Furthermore, our oldest daughter, who is six years old, is capable of looking after herself and also attend to her younger siblings, like when they have to go to the toilet” he said.
He said he was not able to call home to ask about his children during the two-day course as he had ran out of credit on his phone.
Meanwhile, his wife, who requested to be known only as Siti, 21, said she felt victimised by her neighbour and hoped the children would be returned to her as soon as possible,
The story of the children rescued by JKM went viral on the social media yesterday.
The children were taken by JKM after a neighbour lodged a report claiming they were neglected by their parents.