ALOR SETAR - In the heat of anger during a confrontation over outstanding rental, a 63-year-old man splashed acid on five youths in Kuala Kedah here.
Khairul Izzat Mohd Zaki, 22, suffered the most serious burns on his face, neck shoulder and arms.
He was first admitted into the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital and later transferred to the Penang Hospital
His brothers Hasbullah Mohsin, 19, Ahmad Humaidi, 11, and cousin Loqman Hakim Said, 22, were also injured but they were discharged after receiving treatment at the hospital.
Their friend Mohd Sufri Zulkipli, 19, is still warded at the hospital for observation.
Salmah Salleh, 54, said she and her sons together with the two youths and village head went to the house at about 5pm on Saturday to meet the tenant as he had not been paying his RM150 (S$54) rent since February.
"The tenant was not around. The village head and I left about an hour later but the others continued to wait for him.
"I returned to the tenant's place later and was shocked to see the youths in the river screaming in pain.
"I was later told that the tenant went inside the house when the youths confronted him.
"He came out with a bottle of acid and splashed it on them," she said when met at the hospital yesterday.
Salmah, said that the man surrendered when the police came to the house.
"He had been renting the house since last August. I tried many ways to get him to pay over the past few weeks but failed.
"He always said that he will pay but he never did.
"We had been very patient with him but he sometimes scolded and threatened us. I have also lodged three police reports against him over the past five months," she said.
Another youth, Nor Shaufiq Suberi, 19, who was with the group at that time, said the man had handed them a copy of a police report.
He said while they were reading it, he suddenly splashed the acid on them before running back to the house.