Saturday January 26, 2008
Girl reunited with family
By LOOI SUE-CHERN firstname.lastname@example.org
PENANG: A farmer in Balik Pulau is walking on air after reuniting with his 12-year-old daughter who was abducted and taken to Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Maslina, the fifth of six siblings, was taken from her Kampung Pondok Upeh home on Dec 16 by an Indonesian teenager believed to have worked at a nearby construction site.
Her father discovered Maslina’s disappearance after he returned from his field at the back of the house in the evening.
“She was taken between 6pm and 6.30pm. When I found out she was gone, I searched for her with the help of other villagers and lodged a police report that same evening.
Siadin’s brother Jalil Rashid, 50, an immigration officer at the Penang International Airport said they finally managed to traced her whereabouts and found out about her location through their own sources. “We lodged a second police report on Jan 10 and contacted the Indonesian Embassy in Penang.
“We learnt that she was taken to south-eastern Sulawesi to a village called Ramaraja by her kidnapper,” Siadin told pressmen at his home.
Siadin and Jalil both left for Indonesia on Jan 17 to find Maslina. They were first reunited with her on Jan 20 at the southeast Sulawesi district police station.
“The man suspected of abducting Maslina was arrested. We believe he took her because he wanted to marry her. After all the paperwork was completed, Maslina was finally sent back to Malaysia on Jan 22,” Jalil said.
Although still weak, Maslina is just looking forward to get on with life and start secondary school next Monday.
Balik Pulau MP and Finance Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya, who was also present, commended Siadin and Jalil for their efforts in searching for Maslina.
“This is a very unfortunate incident but thankfully, it ended well with the child returned safely to her family.
“I hope other parents will also learn from this incident,” he said.