Sunday February 24, 2013
Runaway teen just glad to be home again
By CHRISTOPHER TAN
GEORGE TOWN: After wandering in a foreign land for more than five years, runaway teen Munirah Abdul Hamid is just glad to be home.
Munirah, now 22, from Tanjung Dawai in Sungai Petani, had eloped to Batam, Indonesia with a man she knew for less than a year, sometime in 2007.
She was in Form Four at that time and had befriended the Indonesian man through text messages.
“When we were on our way to Batam, our boat was stopped by the marine police in Johor and I had to jump into the sea to avoid arrest.
“I remember swimming for a very long time.”
Munirah said she was separated from her boyfriend after the incident.
“In Batam, I worked as a house maid earning about RM250 a month and I had to live in the forest throughout my stay there.”
Munirah added that she saved enough money to take a boat ride to the island of Flores, Indonesia, last year.
In Flores, she met her husband Yohanes Kaya Masan, 35, whose Muslim name is Mohamad Najib. They have a nine-month-old baby boy. Yesterday she arrived home, thanks to the effort of Merbok Barisan Nasional coordinator Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain and Kelab Putra 1Malaysia (KP1M).
Her husband and son also came back with her.
Munirah's father Abdul Hamid Mat, 51, was at the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas to welcome his long-lost daughter.
He thanked Tajul Urus and KP1M president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim for bringing Munirah home.
“I received text messages from her stating that she was in Batam back in 2009. I went to look for her back then but was unable to locate her there. I almost lost hope. Since then, I've not received any news from her.
“Then in January last year, we got a letter from her saying that she wanted to come home.
“We are thankful that she is finally back home with the family,” said Abdul Hamid who is a fisherman.