2 missing orang asli children found alive in Malaysia, but severely malnourished

The children were identified as Norieen Yakob, 10 and Mirsudiar Aluj, 11.
The children were identified as Norieen Yakob, 10 and Mirsudiar Aluj, 11.PHOTO: THE STAR

GUA MUSANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Two orang asli children missing in the jungles of the Malaysian state of Kelantan since August were found alive on Friday (Oct 9), in a miraculous twist.

Seven children aged between seven and 11 were reported missing on Aug 23, all believed to have lost their way in the Tohoi forest reserve while walking home from school.

So far, only two of the children have been found alive.

Search parties scouring the long and windy Sungai Perias found the two children alive near Gua Musang.

However, search parties also found the remains of another child with the two survivors.

The remains have been identified as nine-year-old Ika Ayel.

State police chief, Deputy Comm of Police Mazlan Lazim, confirmed this after the parents had identified the remains at 5pm on Friday.

The command centre here at S. K. Tohoi is a buzz of activity as search parties zero in on a 1 sq km area situated in the Balah forest reserve.

It was learnt that the survivors were identified as Norieen Yakob, 10 and Mirsudiar Aluj, 11.

Reporters on site at S. K. Tohoi reported that both girls were malnourished and very weak.

Medical staff stationed at the school rendered immediate health assistance to the two before they were transported to the Gua Musang general hospital at 2pm on Friday.

On Wednesday, the body of eight-year-old Sasa Sobrie was found at the Sungai Perias river bank.

Sasa's father Sobrie Latif, identifying his daughter's body at the mortuary on Thursday, said: "Sah, itu Sasa (It's confirmed, it's Sasa).

"I knew that it was Sasa based on a birthmark and the earring that she wore," he said.

On Thursday, the skeletal remains of a child, which included a human skull and torso, were recovered by Senoi Praaq General Operation Force members at the riverbank at about 4pm, about 800m from Sasa's body.

Sources said the skull had a number of fractures, believed to have been caused by a fall.

District police chief Supt Saiful Bahri Abdullah confirmed the find, adding that the police needed to check whether the remains were that of one of the missing children.

Search parties are intensifying their efforts to find the remaining children within the riverbanks of Sungai Perias, a tributary of Sungai Nenggiri.

The other children who are missing are Haikal Yaakob, eight; Linda Rosli, eight; and Juvina David, seven.

Last month, the orang asli parents explained that the missing children, who had older siblings, decided to walk home when they could not find them in the school.

However, the older siblings were among 13 children who were being punished for swimming in the river, and not the group of missing children.

Thinking that they had made the journey home for the weekend, the younger children then decided to walk home as well.