Family in shock over murders

Koay Jia Hong, five, and 18-month-old Melvin Sel­vam Joseph

KUALA LUMPUR - They stood huddled together in the corner of the crowded waiting room of the mortuary.

Speaking in hushed voices, the family of stepbrothers Koay Jia Hong, five, and 18-month-old Melvin Sel­vam Joseph just stood there, their faces gripped with sorrow.

They declined to speak to reporters and gathered around the boys' mother, shielding her from the limelight.

Koay Wan Nee, 27, showed no emotion until she was asked to identify the bodies.

In tears and overcome with grief, she was led out of the morgue and away from the camera flashes.

Irritated by the media attention, a sobbing family member shouted at the reporters: "Leave us alone! I will sue you."

The family claimed the bodies at around 6.45pm.

Selvam overcome with emotion after identifying the bodies of Jia Hong and Melvin. The two children and an Indo­nesian maid at their household were found with their throats slit at their home in Taman Sri Putra in Sungai Buloh, near here, at around 7pm on Tuesday.

An official at the morgue said Jia Hong died from a single slash to his throat while the younger child suffered two slashes.

Melvin's father, Selvam Joseph, 44, said he was shocked and confused at what had happened.

"From the time I knew her (the maid), she was close to my son and loved him.

"I do not understand how this could have happened," he said at the hospital yesterday.

Selvam, a freelance IT consultant, said he and his wife had separated for about a year.

Jia Hong's paternal grandfather was calm as he left the family house yesterday.

"I feel sad but there was nothing left to do," he said, adding that his son (the boy's father) had not answered his calls since the incident.

He remembered his grandson as a "healthy and lively" child.