JOHOR BARU: In a state of despair after his wife left him, a factory van driver forced two of his children to drink weed killer, and hit one of them and another child on the head with a mortar.
Two other children, who saw their father abusing their siblings, watched in horror as he took a glass of the paraquat and drank it early Friday morning.
The 40-year-old man then fled to the Kulai Hospital, about 40km from their home in Larkin to seek treatment.
He was later transferred to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital here where police, on receiving a report about the incident, arrested him.
His estranged wife, who heard about his alleged attempts to kill the children, made the police report at about 9am after she rushed to the flat and sought the help of neighbours to send the children to the hospital.
Johor Baru district deputy police chief, Deputy Superintendent Azizan Abu Taat said the suspect had been remanded for 14 days and the case had been classified as attempted murder.
He said the incident, which occurred between 4.30am and 5am, happened about a week after the suspect’s 39-year-old wife left their home. She claimed that she could no longer bear his abuse after 16 years of marriage.
DSP Azizan said one of the man’s children, a 15-year-old girl who witnessed the incident with her five-year-old brother, called their grandmother who then informed the man’s wife about what had happened.
When the suspect’s wife arrived at the flat, she saw her 13-year-old son and her two daughters, aged 12 and nine, writhing in pain on the floor.
“Initial investigations revealed that the suspect had tried to kill his children before ending his own life as he was unable to accept the fact that his wife wanted a divorce. He also suspected that she was having an affair,” DSP Azizan said.
He added that the suspect was arrested at his hospital bed after his wife lodged the police report against him.