PEKAN: Villagers, policemen and Rela members have started a massive search for three young children reported missing from their home in Kampung Mambang Seberang here since Saturday.
A canine unit from Kuantan has also been despatched to the village to look for the missing kids – Shaharuddin, six, Budin, five, and Mariam, three.
Rubber tapper Salehuddin Abdul Halim, 41, said he last saw his children while he was repairing his motorcycle outside their home at about 10am on Saturday.
They were playing at a nearby Felcra rubber plantation and he advised them not to stray away to a certain spot on a higher land, for fear they would fall and hurt themselves.
“I told them to play somewhere else which is safer, and I continued to repair my motorcycle.
“However, a few minutes later, when I turned to look at them, they were not around.
“I called out their names, but did not get any reply. After some time, I panicked,” Salehuddin said yesterday.
He then alerted his family and other villagers and a search and rescue team was immediately mounted to look for the missing children.
As at 5pm yesterday, they have not been found.
A villager from nearby Kampung Tanjong Chempaka, Hasnah Abdul Rahman, 50, she said she saw the children at about 2.30pm on Saturday.
“I heard them calling out for their mother. They were across a small river and I could not reach them.
“I thought that they were following their parents fishing at the river,” she said.
Pekan district police commanding officer C/Insp Mustapha Othman, who is heading the search and rescue operations, said several villagers reported they had seen the children at the rubber estate.
“A dog unit from Kuantan has been despatched to the site, while 83 policemen, including General Operations Force members, are helping in the search and rescue operation,” he said.
The police have so far searched an area of about 4km radius since Saturday.
C/Insp Mustapha said Felcra management officers also took part in the search for the three children.
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