BALING - As investigators interrogate a 38-year-old man from Sedim to establish his motives in taking four children into the forest near here, the youngsters are recuperating from their ordeal after spending a night in the jungle.
Yesterday, the man from Kampung Bukit Rawa was nabbed while hiding in the woods near his home.
The children, Mohd Hafiz Redzuan, 14, Rohaizat Jamaluddin, 10, and siblings Ainna Nadia Mat Dahari, 13, and Ahmad Mohamad, 11, described the incident as their worst nightmare. Mohamad said they did not know why they agreed to follow their neighbour into the Bukit Wang Kerbau forest in Gunung Inas on Tuesday evening. "We simply agreed to follow him and did not bring any food as we thought that it would be just for a while."
The SK Seri Lindungan Raja pupil said they became worried when the sky turned dark and instead of leading them home, the man told them to dig a hole and sleep inside. "We could hardly sleep as we were starving and terrified at the same time," he said at Kulim Hospital, where the four were warded for observation.
Mohamad said the next morning, they saw a Fire and Rescue Department helicopter hovering above the jungle but the man ordered them to hide. He said he was extremely grateful when they came across two villagers, who alerted the rescuers.
Hafiz said he recited Quranic verses to comfort his friends throughout the ordeal.
"We have learnt our lesson the hard way. This is the last time we ever venture into the jungle with that man." The children were rescued at 7.30pm on Wednesday after going missing for 24 hours.