KUANTAN, Malaysia - Seven-year-old Lee Wei Xuan is refusing to eat and go to school because she misses her mother.
Koo Yam Mei, 29, had gone to work as a strawberry picker in Perth, Australia, last September and has not contacted the family for over a month.
Wei Xuan's father Lee Kim Meng, 45, said his wife had always kept in touch with them via video chats and would ring them everyday, "sometimes up to 10 times."
"After June 28, however, I could not contact her anymore. I fear something bad has happened to my wife," he said at the Kuantan PKR service centre yesterday.
Lee, however, said he had noticed a gradual change in Koo's behaviour as she would make fewer calls as the months passed.
"I did ask her what was wrong but she would not tell me. I told her our daughter needs her love and attention but she would get really agitated and hang up," said Lee, a contract worker.
He said Koo had actually wanted him to go with her to Australia to work but he could not bear to leave their young daughter behind.
He added that his wife's family members also would not tell him Koo's whereabouts but a friend in Australia had spotted her working in Perth and Koondoola a few days ago.
"It feels like my daughter and I are the only ones in the dark. I am asking my wife to come back. I am considering going to Australia to look for her," said Lee, who has lodged two police reports.
The service centre's executive director Sim Chon Siang said he would try to obtain assistance from the Malaysia High Commission in Australia.
Those with information can contact him at 012-981 8819.