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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Siti Aishah refuses to come home, denies being enslaved, says activist

Hishamuddin Rais and Kamar Mahtum are in London. Kamar Mahtum had a 40-minute reunion with her sister, Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab. – The Malaysian Insider file pic,November 30, 2013.Hishamuddin Rais and Kamar Mahtum are in London. Kamar Mahtum had a 40-minute reunion with her sister, Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab. – The Malaysian Insider file pic,November 30, 2013.A Malaysian woman said to have been enslaved for nearly 30 years, Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab, has refused to return to Malaysia and denied she was a slave in London, says activist Hishamuddin Rais.
He said Siti Aishah's denial came from her Marxist ideology.
"Siti Aishah has said she was not anyone’s slave. That is her ideological belief.
On his blog, Hishamuddin posted the latest updates on Siti Aishah's reunion with her sister, Kamar Mahtum.
 According to Hishamuddin, Kamar Mahtum had to endure a six-hour journey to meet Siti Aishah, who had previously been reported by British media as being a victim of slavery along with two other women.
 "The journey from London to a secret police safe house took six hours and a change of vehicles twice. Kamar Mahtum was eventually reunited with Siti Aishah, who is being watched by two policewomen and eight policemen," Hishamuddin said.
 The representative from the Malaysian High Commission was not allowed to accompany Kamar Mahtum.
Both sisters cried when they finally met after decades apart.
Hishamuddin said the sisters had a 40-minute reunion. He had accompanied Kamar Mahtum when she departed from Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, determined not to return to Malaysia until she had seen Siti Aishah.
The United Kingdom had confirmed Siti Aishah's status as a Malaysian citizen, registered officially as Aishah Wahab and born on May 27, 1944. Siti Aishah was in a red top and black trousers when Kamar Mahtum met her. She also brought a package for her sister.
He said: "During their brief reunion, Siti Aishah asked about her mother and other siblings. Kamar Mahtum tearfully replied that they had died long ago. The package which Kamar Mahtum brought included headscarves and robes," Hishamuddin said.
He said when Siti Aishah was invited to return to Malaysia to be introduced to her other relatives here, she replied she would return some time in the future. Siti Aishah was also briefed about Islamic teachings by Kamar Mahtum and said she had many Muslim friends in London.
 Kamar Mahtum did her best to persuade Siti Aishah to return home but the latter seemed reluctant. Kamar Mahtum said she nagged Siti Aishah quite a bit during their meeting and described her sister as being extremely British.
 "Kamar Mahtum had a nagging feeling that there was something private in Siti Aishah's life that her sister wanted to share but did not reveal. Kamar Mahtum made three requests of her sister before she left, to read the Quran, write home and to return to Malaysia," Hishamuddin said.
 Siti Aishah is one of three women freed by the police on October 25 in London after one of them contacted the authorities. The other two victims are an Irish, 57, and a Briton, 30. Police also arrested B. Aravindan and his wife, Chanda.

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