`Alhamdullilah, we are free now’

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Feb 16: Yusuf Islam Abdul Halik, one of the 47 Malaysians who has been freed by the Cambodian government, revealed that his fellow `prison-mates’ were shocked beyond belief when news flowed in yesterday that they could go home.

The 21-year-old from here said he himself could not believe his ears when prison officers came to their cells and called for all Malaysian detainees at 11am yesterday. They spoke in Cambodian.

“We waited anxiously. At 2pm, the prison officers opened the gates and told us to change to our own clothes. We were free. All of us cried after that. We have been detained for two months … so Alhamdullilah, we are free now,” he recounted.

Yusuf thanked Malaysia’s federal government, Sarawak government and all those who had helped in one way or another for their release and return to Malaysia.

The 47 Malaysians were detained at the Banteay Manchey Provincial Prison since Dec 11 last year following suspected involvement in illegal online gambling activities.

They were released at 6.30pm (Cambodian time) yesterday following approval by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and after investigations revealed that they were duped by a human trafficking racket. — DayakDaily