GUA MUSANG: Midah Angah’s joy of seeing her daughter Norieen Yaakob alive quickly turned to anger as she rebuked the teachers “for causing all the trouble”.
The 40-year-old single mother had been in tears and unsure whether it was actually Norieen until a reporter showed her pictures of the 10-year-old girl. Her anguish then turned to joy.
Norieen and her brother Haikal, eight, who remains missing, were among the seven orang asli students of SK Tohoi who disappeared in the Balah forest reserve on Aug 23.
Norieen was found alive yesterday with Miksudiar Aluj, 11.
However, as soon as the ambulance with both survivors arrived at the hospital here, Midah, whose husband died of tuberculosis eight years ago, started to rant at the teachers at SK Tohoi.
“Ini semua salah cikgu sekolah marah anak saya ... Kalau tak marah tak akan jadi begini (It’s all the fault of the teachers for scolding my children. If they had not scolded them, nothing like this would have happened),” Midah wailed and started pushing those who prevented her from seeing her child who needed immediate medical care.
The situation at the hospital entrance had been chaotic after one of Midah’s relatives fainted. Others were screaming in the Temiar language and some were crying even before the ambulance doors were opened.
Police were on hand to control the crowd amidst the pushing and people jostling to get a view of the survivors.
Later in the evening, the cries of another mother filled the air at the hospital morgue as the remains of nine-year-old Ika Ayel, who was found near the two survivors, was identified.
Nora Tegau was heard screaming: “Dia Ika Ayel (She is Ika Ayel)!” She recognised her daughter from a bracelet.
The platoon leader of the orang asli Rela team Along Arop said he had a brief chat with Norieen and Miksudiar when they were brought out of the jungle.
“They told me that they looked after their friend until she died,” he said, adding that they witnessed her taking her last breath five days earlier.
But they were too weak to tell him then that the dead girl was Ika.
“I was just astonished at how they could have survived this long in the harsh jungle with only water,” he said at the hospital.
Kelantan police chief Datuk Mazlan Lazim later said the children had survived on grass and wild fruits.