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SIEM REAP, Feb 13: Julau MP Larry Sng has described as “satisfactory” the efforts to look after the 47 Malaysian detainees in Banteay Meanchey Provincial Prison.
Speaking to members of the Malaysian media after visiting the detainees today, Sng said, “We were told that their conditions were very well taken care off, including halal food for the Muslims and medical treatment.
“I was also told that the head of this prison actually came up with their own money to buy halal food for the Muslim detainees. So, I believe there was a lot of effort being made to ensure that the Malaysian detainees’ welfare is taken care of.”
A group of Malaysian media and family members of the detainees arrived here today to see for themselves the situation and condition of their loved ones.
They were accompanied by Sng and Embassy of Malaysia’s deputy chief of mission Ruzaimi Mohd.
“We’ve met all the 47 detainees and also spoke to the officials from the prison and embassy.
“Ruzaimi and myself were given the opportunity to speak a few words of encouragement and hope to the detainees, assuring them that the Malaysian government is doing their very best to speed up the release process.
“I have also conveyed to them that most of their parents or family members have contacted me, expressing their concerns about their loved ones and seeking information about their condition in prison,” he said.
Sng said he would personally convey his experience and findings to the family members once he is back in Malaysia.
Asked on his next plan, Sng said once he is back in Malaysia, he would arrange for a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to seek clarification from Wisma Putra on actions taken through diplomatic channels.
“For the time being, we will have to leave it to Wisma Putra on what they can do,” he said.
In case there is no immediate release and the issue is prolonged, Sng said he would make another visit to the provincial prison.
“I am very sad to see my son in prison but I am also very happy because I get to meet him today,” said Zunita Sedini when asked about her feelings after seeing her son Yusuf Islam Abdul Halik, 21, and the other 46 Malaysian detainees at Bantey Meanchey district jail this morning.
Weeping softly at the press conference, Zunita who appeared overwhelmed with mixed emotions said she is unable to describe more about it because it was beyond her imagination that she could come all the way from Sarawak, Malaysia to Cambodia to see her son in prison clothes.
Yusuf was arrested with the others for alleged illegal international online gambling.
At the prison, Zunita was swarmed by many of the other detainees, who sought her help to pass their messages written on paper to their parents back home in Malaysia. She was seen shedding her tears, telling them to be patient and pray hard.
“Please help them. Please bring them back. Please pity these children. They miss their parents and vice versa. I strongly believe both governments will work things out and InshaAllah, they will go home soon,” she said. — DayakDaily