Exit of two UN work­ers raises hopes for fam­ily

New Straits Times - - News -

The re­lease of two Malaysians from North Korea has raised hopes for veg­etable seller S. Ko­mala Thein­moli to see the re­turn of her sis­ter Nir­mala Malar Kodi.

Ko­mala, 48, said af­ter hear­ing about the two Malaysians who were al­lowed to re­turn, she strongly be­lieved her sis­ter and friends, who work at the Malaysian Em­bassy in Py­ongyang, would also be re­leased soon.

“There is still hope. I be­lieve the Malaysian govern­ment will do their best to have all Malaysians there re­leased.

“I be­lieve my sis­ter and ev­ery­one at the em­bassy are do­ing just fine,” she said at her home in High­land Park here yes­ter­day.

Ko­mala added that de­spite the news, she was wor­ried about her sis­ter’s safety since Nir­mala had not up­dated her sit­u­a­tion in North Korea to her el­dest sis­ter, Janaga Malar Vili.

“It has been two days. The last time we heard from her was on Mon­day night. She was sup­posed to tell us about her sit­u­a­tion to­day (yes­ter­day) at 2pm, but my el­dest sis­ter has yet to re­ceive any news from her.

“Know­ing that she works at the em­bassy makes me a bit re­lieved. I know the se­cu­rity there is at the high­est level and not ev­ery­one can eas­ily en­ter the build­ing.

“How­ever, I wish I could lis­ten to her voice right now. I also hope ev­ery Malaysians could pray for her and friends’ safety over there,” she said.

Ko­mala added that she hoped her fam­ily would be given time to be to­gether and po­litely urged mem­bers of me­dia not to call or visit her fam­ily again.

“This is a se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tion that we are deal­ing with right now. I hope me­dia mem­bers un­der­stand my sit­u­a­tion. We should wait un­til she is home.”

Mean­while, Janaga, when con­tacted yes­ter­day, said that all she knew right now was that her sis­ter was safe and sound.

“That’s all I can say be­cause she hasn’t called me yes­ter­day to up­date on her sit­u­a­tion there.

“I hope mem­bers of me­dia could give us some time be­cause we don’t even re­ally know her real con­di­tion in North Korea,” she added.

Nir­mala has yet to call Janaga at press time.

Nir­mala, is one of 11 Malaysians who were stranded in North Korea. Py­ongyang on Mon­day barred Malaysians from leav­ing North Korea.

The de­ci­sion came amidst diplo­matic ten­sion over the killing of Kim Jong-Nam at KLIA2 on Feb 13.

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak, how­ever, yes­ter­day, re­vealed that two Malaysians un­der United Na­tions World Food Pro­gramme, Stella Lim and Nyanaprakash Mu­niandy, were al­lowed to leave Py­ongyang and have ar­rived in Bei­jing.

PIC BY L. MANIMARAN

S. Ko­mala Thein­moli and her daugh­ters look­ing at yes­ter­day’s edi­tion of the ‘New Straits Times’ at her home in Kuala Kangsar yes­ter­day.

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