PETALING JAYA: Swedish authorities will be interviewing Malaysian Muslim couples to determine who will act as temporary foster parents for the four children whose parents are in custody.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (pic) said Wisma Putra, through the Malaysian Embassy in Sweden, had submitted the proposed names and the authorities would decide on the matter after interviewing the prospective foster parents soon.
“We have already sent names of the proposed foster parents and the authorities will interview the couples who are Malaysian Muslims.
“We have also asked them (authorities) to consider the requests of the children’s relatives for them to return to Malaysia while their parents’ case is being resolved. However, even if the authorities agree, their return may not be so soon as the children need to be interviewed to assist in the investigation,” he told The Star.
Azizul Raheem Awalludin, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stockholm, and his wife Shalwati Nurshal were reported to have hit their 12-year-old son for not performing his prayers.
They have reportedly been detained in Sweden since Dec 18 and are still in custody before the case is heard. To date, no charges have been filed. The authorities have extended the couple’s remand to Jan 30.
Anifah said Wisma Putra had “done the necessary”, including issuing diplomatic notes to Sweden on the matter, while official representations were made by the Malaysian ambassador to Sweden to the relevant authorities there.
“We know that our citizens are concerned about the family’s welfare and the children’s well-being but they should not be emotional. Protesting will not make a government change its laws,” he added.
Several NGOs had sent a memorandum to the Swedish Embassy here to voice their concerns over the placement of the children with non-Muslim foster parents and the detention of the Malaysian couple.
Anifah’s press secretary Datin Nirvana Jalil Ghani said Wisma Putra had been working to free the couple from the start.
In response to remarks by Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil, Nirvana said Wisma Putra officials had been assisting and supporting the couple.