KAJANG, Malaysia - The man who kept his dead wife's body at home for 35 days cared for her as if she were alive, said the police.
According to Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahab, the husband confessed that he even combed his dead wife's hair daily.
"The hair was still in good condition when we found her.
"The man said he brushed her hair every day and he even talked to her as if she were alive," he told reporters on Wednesday.
"He said he could not report her death because he loved her too much.
"He was afraid the body would be taken away and he would not be able to see her again," said ACP Abdul Rashid, adding that the couple had been together for 27 years and were married for 17 years.
The man's wife, Lim Ah Tee, 42, died on Sept 21 after complaining of chest pains.
The man, 44, who worked as a plaster ceiling contractor, only lodged a report on Oct 26 after he confessed the matter to his elder brother who came to visit the couple.
A post-mortem on the body found no evidence of foul play.
"The husband went to work and sent their son to school as usual.
"He slept every day in the room while the body was inside.
"He also hid the death from their son.
"When the 16-year-old son asked about his mother, the father would tell him that she was resting," he said, adding that the husband locked the master bedroom door where his wife was placed.
ACP Abdul Rashid said the man put wet cloth underneath the door to contain the stench.
"The neighbours were around, but none detected any stench," he said, adding that the husband also burnt joss sticks in the room to mask the stench.
A neighbour, who declined to be named, said they were a "loving couple".
"Maybe that is why he resorted to keeping his wife's body with him," said the neighbour, who added that although the family had been staying at Taman Damai Impian for over six years, they were not particularly sociable.
"We would always greet them in passing, but they mainly kept to themselves. But the wife was very helpful and friendly."
ACP Abdul Rashid added that the man would be fined RM250 under Section 35 of the National Registration Act 1959 for not reporting the death.