Sunday July 1, 2012
‘Life was hell with stepmum in Lampung’
By LEE YEN MUN
SEPANG: Fear gripped Nurul Safiza Fitri, 11, as she recalled the difficult life that she and her three young siblings led while being held ransom by their stepmother in Indonesia.
They were forced into manual labour in the remote Sumatran village of Lampung, she said, adding that they were given little to eat and sometimes subjected to physical abuse.
“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 yesterday after they were brought home by their father Nordi Adi, 57, with the assistance of the Umno Youth Community Complaints Bureau.
The family touched down at the KL International Airport at about 12.15pm.
“We were unable to bring my eldest child Siti Norzana home as she was in a different location from the other three.” Nordi said.
Efforts were being made to bring Siti Norzana, 12, home, too, he added.
“I thank Allah for Umno's support. I am tenang hati (at peace) to have reunited with the children,” Nordi told the media tearfully.
The family's ordeal began in 2005 after the children's biological mother abruptly left the family.
Nordi, a security guard from Johor Baru, married the Indonesian woman two years later and decided to move the family to his new wife's village in Lampung, about 11 hours from Jakarta via ferry and road.
However, his Indonesian wife later threatened to ban the children from meeting their father unless Nordi transferred his EPF savings of RM27,000 to her.
Nordi left Indonesia in 2010 and has not seen his children since.
Bureau chief Datuk Muhd Khairun Aseh, who greeted the family at the airport, thanked the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta and the Indonesian government for helping to bring the children home.
Muhd Khairun said the wife's family was hostile and did not allow Nordi to meet his children unless he had money.
However, he was not financially stable and sought the bureau's help to bring his children home after being informed that they would always go hungry and were told to work, Muhd Khairun added.