MALAYSIA - The four children were beaten and shouted at constantly and forced to find food and medicinal herbs in the jungle.
The young siblings were starved, subject to physical abuse and forced into manual labour by their stepmother, who kept them with her for two years in Indonesia, refusing to let them return home to their father in Malaysia.
Nurul Safiza Fitri, 11, recalled the difficult life that she and her three siblings led while being held ransom by their stepmother.
"We would be sent to the forest to gather herbs and sticks from morning till afternoon and would get as little as two spoonfuls of rice if the collection for the day was below expectations," she said.
The nightmare for Nurul Safiza and her siblings Muhammad Nurhan, nine, and Nur Masyita Amiera, eight, ended last Saturday after they were taken home to Malaysia by their father, Mr Nordi Adi, 57, with the assistance of the Umno Youth Community Complaints Bureau, reported The Star.
The family touched down at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at about 12.15pm.
Said Mr Nordi: "We were unable to bring my eldest child home as she was in a different location from the other three."
One left behind
Their oldest sister, Siti Norzana, 12, could not be found when the rescue team was in the remote Sumatran village of Lampung, as she had been moved to an even more remote area, reported the New Straits Times.
But efforts were being made to bring the girl home too, added Mr Nordi.