KUCHING: Stunned by news that their loved ones are detained in a provincial Cambodian jail, family members are hoping for their release as soon as possible.
Marsita Mohammad did not know that her daughter Nur Ridwana Syahzani Hamddie, 21, had gone to work in Cambodia when the news came that she had been arrested.
“She told me she was going to work in Kuala Lumpur. She left sometime in October with friends.
“On Jan 31, the embassy called me and told me that my daughter had been arrested for alleged online gambling.
“I don't know what to do. I hope the state government can help bring her back as quickly as possible,” Marsita told a press conference here yesterday.
Nur Ridwana Syahzani is one of 47 Malaysians, including 44 Sarawakians, arrested in Poi Pet, Cambodia, on Dec 11.
They are believed to have gone to Cambodia after being promised high-paying jobs which did not materialise.
Their detention was confirmed by Wisma Putra on Thursday after Julau MP Larry Sng raised their plight earlier that same day.
Julie Lala Jubang learned that her daughter Brenda Weltinnie Winston was detained when she received a call from someone in Kuala Lumpur.
Brenda had told her previously that she would be working in Kuala Lumpur for three months, she said.
“I asked her when she would come back and she said she did not know yet because she still had work to do and that she was fine.”
“The last time I heard of her was on Dec 28 when her friend Eviana called me. Eviana said to me, ‘Aunty, don't worry. I'm with Brenda here. We are fine, please look after yourself’,” Julie said.
Christine Cathereen, the sister of Eviana Nazreen Sadin who was also detained, said the family learnt of her plight from Julie.
“She (Eviana) called Brenda's mother because she didn't have my number, so Brenda's mother told me that she was detained there. I pray that she is well and can be released soon,” she said.
Meanwhile, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said the state government would help the detainees where possible.
“The Chief Minister has already said that we are asking the Malaysian embassy to try their best. If the embassy needs any help from the state government, we will come in,” he said after visiting one of the detainees' families in Batu Kawa here on Saturday night.
Dr Sim said that the state government was also trying to seek more information.
“We need to know a bit more and see what help we can give. The state government is ready to help,” he said.
Wisma Putra discussing with Cambodia in bid to release 47 held in prison