Daughter yearns for father’s return

The carcass of a python that removed from the stomach of a crocodile that was caught by residents of Kampung Meranek and Samarahan Crocodile Hunters in the Samarahan River. Photos: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: “Mum, why did that animal (crocodile) take my father?”

Manisa Musa

This was the haunting question posed to Manisa Musa by her daughter following the disappearance of husband and father Azyan Azhar after he was attacked by a crocodile in Sungai Meranek here.

According to Manisa, a housewife, she received the tragic news of her husband’s disappearance around 4am from her brother-in-law.

“My brother-in-law said my husband had fallen into the river because he was attacked by a crocodile and that their father (father-in-law) did not have time to pull him up.

“I was thinking about the fate of our children,” she said.

Further elaborating, Manisa said a month before, in addition to registering her to get her motorcycle licence, Azyan or Atan, as he is fondly known, had also bought a motorcycle without informing her.

“On that day, he was about to go down to the river, and I told him to wear a safety jacket. But he brushed this aside.

“Usually, he will only talk about important things to me.

“Before he went down to the river, he had cooked his breakfast as usual but that day, he washed all the plates and cups he had used — usually, he would leave them in the sink,” she said, adding that Atan was very close to their children.

Atan @ Azyan Azhar

She added that since the attack last Tuesday, their second child, Nurul Syazila Natasha, had often asked where her father was.

“I broke the news gently, that her father was grabbed by a crocodile. Then she cried and asked why the crocodile took him.

“I can only advise my children to be strong as their father and if they are weak, their father will also be weak.

“The questions about their father’s whereabouts really sadden me.

“This morning, she kept asking if her father had returned home, and according to her, she felt that her father was waiting for us to pick him up.

“I can only tell her that many people are helping to find him,” Manisa said, in between sobs.

According to Manisa, although her husband’s clothes had been found, the belt and trousers worn by him on the day of the incident are still missing.

Atan and Manisa have been married for the past 11 years and they have three children — Mohammad Syahril Haziq, 10, Nurul Syazila Natasha, nine, and Nor Fazila Ellysya, six.