Five men in illegal entry case return home

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 22 May 2005

TAWAU: Looking exhausted but smiling, five Malaysians arrived here at 4pm from Tarakan in East Kalimantan after spending two months and three days in an Indonesian jail for illegal entry. 

They had earlier departed Tarakan at 8am for a boat ride to Nunukan, another Kalimantan coastal town, from where they took a three-hour ferry ride to Tawau. 

The men declined to speak of their experiences with reporters upon their arrival at the jetty here. 

“Later, later. I just want to go home. I have so many things to think about,” said Dawan Tasau, 33. 

Escorted by relatives and friends, the group including former native chief Datuk Malili Mali, 63, politicians Harman Muhamad, 48, and Musa Jaafar, 46 as well as telecommunications company employee Akil Hamarudin, 51, boarded several vehicles. 

Malili, Harman and Musa left for their native Semporna town where a thanksgiving feast was held while Dawan and Akil went back to their homes here. 

Dawan’s brother, Darwin, told reporters earlier that the families of the five men had been worried for them during their detention. 

“It seemed as if time passed too slowly when they were in jail,” said Darwin, who thanked Malaysian and Indonesian authorities for resolving the matter as quickly as possible. 

The Tarakan court sentenced on Thursday the five men to two months and three days and fined them two million Rupiah (RM800) for entering Indonesia illegally. 

The jail sentence for charges of illegal entry is exactly the same number of days they have been detained since their arrest on Pulau Sebatik on March 30.  

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