A father has to give up custody of his three children because he is unable to provide a decent living environment for them
The three siblings' plight caught national attention last week after various media reported about them living in a garbage-strewn shophouse with their uncle in Kuantan, Pahang.
At that time, Teruntum assemblyman Sim Chon Siang said their uncle had to let the authorities take over the siblings, or else he may face charges for negligence, reported The Star.
The trio – aged nine, 10, and 12 – were later sent to Rapha Children's Home temporarily until their guardians or parents could provide them a better living condition.
A week after they were transferred to the shelter, their father visited them on Sunday, 27 September, and agreed to give up custody of his children to the shelter, reported China Press.
Sim confirmed the matter, adding that the father left the shelter an hour after meeting his children there.
It is learned that the father, who works as a welder in Rompin, is not financially capable of providing his children with daily needs
Other than coming to the shelter to sign over the custodianship, the father was also given a chance to learn about his children's new living environment.
According to the director of Rapha Children's Home, the father thought that it would be more appropriate to let the shelter take care of them.
In his visit, the father also made an arrangement to have their children talk to their mother over a video call.
It was previously reported that the mother left them three years ago and has never been back since.
"The father made a promise to visit them whenever he has the time," said the director.
The siblings have adapted well to the new environment and even went to the doctor for a body check-up
Two of the older siblings complained of having back pain and were sent to a specialist for an examination on Monday, 28 September, reported Sin Chew Daily.
The doctor said the second sister has swelling muscles on her back due to sleeping on a concrete floor for a long period of time.
However, with the new lifestyle at the shelter, she will likely recover from the condition.
As for the eldest sister, she was found to have a bent vertebrae after going through an X-ray scan.
"The doctor said it could be due to malnutrition, such as a lack of calcium and vitamins, since she was going through her puberty while living with her uncle over the past three years," the Teruntum assemblyman said.
"However, she does not need surgery. She will need to supplement her meals with adequate nutrition from now on. The youngest sister is in good health."
New Straits Times reported last week that life has been good for the siblings, but they admitted that they miss their pets at their uncle's place.
Previously, the siblings had to sleep on the floor because a mattress was completely covered with animal faeces: