Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nazarudin’s children beg Abu Sayyaf to release him

SUNGAI BULOH: “Please free Papa.” This tearful plea was sent out by the children of trader Mohammad Nazarudin Saidin to his abductors in south Philippines.

Nazarudin, 38, has been held hostage in Jolo since May 7 by the Abu Sayyaf militant group which is demanding a ransom of eight million pesos (RM800,000).

The six children, aged between four and 15, have been praying for their father's release and safe return. They hope the group will not harm their father because they are from a poor family and cannot afford the ransom. The children live with their mother, Mazlina Mohamed, 38, in a semi-wooden two-room house in Kampung Merbau Sempak, Sungai Buloh.

Awaiting return: Mazlina at her home in Kampung Merbau Sempak, Sungai Buloh, with her youngest child Nur Athira.

“It worries us that my father is being held at gun-point in the Phillipines jungle,” said Nazarudin's eldest son Amir Hazizi, 15.

Another son Nabil Haikal, 11, said he missed his father dearly and even dreamt that he had returned home.

“I dreamt Papa told me he came back by a flight,” he added.

Mazlina said they could not afford the high ransom as she only earned about RM40 daily operating a kuih stall near her home.

She added that Nazarudin had made the trip to the Philippines, his first outside the country, because he wanted to earn more money to give his children better lives.

“He told me before he left that he wanted to go to Jolo with a friend and venture into a tucktoo (lizard) business there. I warned him that the area was not safe and I had a bad feeling about the whole trip.

“But he went ahead for the sake of our children,” Mazlina said.

The couple divorced on April 18, nine days before he left for southern Pillipines.

Media reports had quoted the police in Philippines as saying Nazarudin was being held by Abu Sayyaf militants in the town of Indanan in Sulu province.

Chief Supt Bienvenido Latag, head of police in the region, reportedly said there was an “ongoing operation” to rescue Nazarudin who was snatched by at least 10 gunmen. Before his abduction, Nazarudin was in Sulu for over a week to meet a fellow trader named Ghafar.

The Star Online 



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