KUALA LUMPUR: A 67-year-old man who went on a working trip to India in March has not returned home.
According to his family, Hamidi Abdullah, a manager with a legal firm in Butterworth, Penang, went missing in Kochi in the southern state of Kerala.
His family, who made numerous attempts to locate him but to no avail, sought help from MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong.
“Hamidi’s trip to India was for business and ayurvedic treatment,” he told a press conference at Wisma MCA yesterday.
Hamidi was originally supposed to travel to India with a land broker to seek settlement with the owner of a land in Malaysia, said Chong.
The broker later informed Hamidi that he was unable to make the trip but would send his employee instead.
Both Hamidi and the employee departed Kuala Lumpur for Kochi on March 13.
When the latter returned on March 16 without Hamidi, his son Roslee got worried, said Chong.
To Roslee’s shock, he was told that the two had travelled to Kochi on the same flight, but in different coaches.
“Hamidi’s children called him many times but the calls went unanswered,” Chong said, adding that Hamidi has three sons and a daughter.
On March 19, Hamidi’s daughter Dr Nur Jawahir received a text message from her father saying that he was detained at a police station in Karaikudi on suspicion of being a terrorist.
“In the message, the dad also mentioned that his passport had been taken away and he could not be contacted through his mobile phone,” Chong said.
He said Hamidi’s niece, N. Saraswathi, then called the Karaikudi police station that day and was told that no such arrest was made.
She also tried to contact her uncle via the handphone but the call was answered by a police officer who claimed that the phone was found near the police station with all the data in the phone deleted.
“Saraswathi then lodged a report online with the Kochi police station on March 23,” said Chong.
He added that the family later heard from the Indian police that Hamidi had taken a taxi to an ayurvedic centre in Pandalam on March 14.
The family was further confused when Saraswathi contacted the ayurvedic centre, only to be told that someone had attempted to use a photocopy of Hamidi’s passport to enter it.
Chong said since March 24, Hamidi’s family and his colleagues had lodged 14 reports with Malaysian police.
“We hope the police will help them as the family can only depend on them since Hamidi went missing there.
“Though his sons are willing to go to India to track down their father, they have been advised by the local police against doing so,” he said.