MALACCA: The man who held his family hostage in a seven-hour ordeal that shattered a peaceful weekend in Taman Duyong Indah here believes he was under a spell. And, he considers his seven-year-old daughter a "jinx".
His eldest daughter Rabiatul Akmah, nine, said her father had been hitting out at her younger sister Norsyakilah Natashah and beating her stepmother and grandmother often.
"Since the beginning of this month, Abah (father) has been very aggressive," she said.
"He wanted my mother and grandmother to admit that they have visited a bomoh to harm him.
"But I still can't accept that Abah hates Norsyakilah so much. She's the one always being abused and screamed at for bringing ill-luck to him," Rabiatul said at the Malacca Hospital here.
Rabiatul, along with her sisters, Norsyakilah and Nor Ashirah Afiras, three, were seen in each other's embrace at the hospital where they are undergoing physical and psychological screening after their ordeal.
The 7.15pm drama on Saturday unfolded when the man, armed with a parang, held his family captive inside the house.
The part-time wireman, who is in his 30s, allegedly accused his 40-year-old wife and mother, 60, of using black magic on him and started hitting his spouse.
Neighbours, who heard the commotion and the family's cries for help, alerted the police when they could not open the door to the terrace house.
Malacca police's special investigation division rushed to the house with Senior Asst Comm Mohd Shaharizan Che Mat Din, who managed a hostage crisis at a kindergarten in Muar in 2011.
After hours of persuasion, police stormed into the house at around 2.15am and rescued the hostages.
Police found the youngest daughter hiding inside a cupboard. The wife had injuries to her face and eyes while the rest had minor wounds.
Rabiatul said she was afraid to see her father again, adding that she was hit several times with a bamboo stick.
"Abah was nice to us before. I don't know why he became violent suddenly," she said.
"All of us are now afraid to see or even talk to him."
Neighbour Fatimah Hussin, 46, said the family moved in seven years ago, adding that the man married a Sabahan after divorcing his first wife.
"We keep away from him because he is short-tempered," she said.
State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye said he believed that they were facing a suicidal man with erratic behaviour.
SAC Mohd Shaharizan said he had tried to use religion to pacify the man but that did not work.
"He was mumbling weird chants."
The man has been put under remand for a week and will undergo a medical check-up.