Siti Aishah is Happy living in Britain having
wide circle of friends.
KUALA LUMPUR: Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab, the
69-year old Malaysian `slave` rescued from the grasps of a
south London-based Maoist sect, is happy in London and had a
lot of friends, her sister was quoted as saying in The
Kamar Mahtum, 73, described the joy and sadness following
her first emotional reunion with her sister in more than
Siti Aishah, who was allegedly held against her will for
more than 30-years, said she was happy in Britain and had a
wide circle of friends who cared for her, fed her and loved
In the Nov 29 interview, the Telegraph quoted Kamar Mahtum
as saying that Siti Aishah was so swept up in left-wing
politics that she became totally isolated from her family
and did not even know their mother passed away 19-years ago.
The two sisters were reportedly reunited at a secret
location in the north of England after Karmar mahtum flew to
London immediately after discovering her sister had been
Kamar Mahtum related to the English daily how Siti Aishah
was doing well but was a different person compared to the
fiercely bright quantity surveying student who left Malaysia
full of ambition at the tail end of the 1960s.
The retired teacher said: “At first I did not recognise
her. She looked very different of course; 40-years older,
the beautiful young girl had gone. But then again I am also
an old woman now.”
She said the first thing they did was to hug one another
for a long time as the years of separation fell away.
“I cried, first out of relief, but then out of anger and
then out of frustration. She asked me, ‘how is mum?’ and I
said, ‘mum is gone’.
“She did not show any emotion at that point. She had tears
in her eyes, but I think they were out of respect for me.
But I had the sob of my life.
“The last time I sobbed like that was when I lost my
mother in 1994. We could not contact Aishah to let her know
because we did not know where she was.”
During the 40 minute reunion meeting, the pair did not
discuss the conditions in which Miss Wahab and the other
rescued women had been living, nor their alleged captors,
Aravindan Balakrishnan and his wife Chanda Pattni.
She told The Daily Telegraph: “When I asked her about
what had gone on she just clammed up. The only thing she
wanted me to perceive is that she is happy.
“She told me, ‘I have got friends here, I work here. I do
important work here’, but she could not reveal what it was
“Each time she said something that made me smile she
would say, ‘oh I love your smile. Don’t frown, laugh,
Siti Aishah and the other two alleged slaves – believed
to be Josephine Herivel, 57, from Northern Ireland and
30-year-old Prem Davies – were released last month after the
Freedom Charity received a call from one of the women
complaining they had been held against their will for
Police from the Met’s human trafficking unit described
the case as unique and said as well as investigating
allegations of physical assault they were also looking at
the “invisible handcuffs” that had been used to keep them in
In the interview with the Telegraph, Kamar Mahtum said
her instinct had been to reach out and help her little
sister, but Siti Aishah insisted she had never been lonely
in London and had people who looked out for her.
“Aishah said, ‘I’ve got enough’, ‘my friends feed me’,
‘my friends love me, I love them, they help me out.”
She added: “When she said that I felt that she was trying
to tell me … that even without us, she can survive, as she
has been for the last 40 years. We’re nothing that
important. I felt a lot of disappointment.”
But she said Siti Aishah had promised to return to
Malaysia to be reunited with the rest of her family once the
investigation into allegations of slavery was complete, a
process which could take at least a year.
She explained: “She promised that after the investigation
was over she would come home. As the rest of her family I
want her to come home very, very badly.
“I want her to know my children. I want my children to
know her. Because part of her is me and part of her is in my
children and I want them to recognise the similarity and the
identity across the generations. I still feel emotional
Kamar Mahtum admitted that her sister had been in London
for so long that she now appeared to be more British than
“She was wearing a thick red cardigan and brown pants,
very comfortable. She was commenting on my Malaysian attire,
my attire is very delicate, velvety, she said this is not
something to wear in this cold weather.
“When I tried to talk in Malay she said, ‘why do you
speak in Malay, when I haven’t heard it for 40-years.
“I showed her the letter that I had written, but she
said, ‘what is this word?’ she could no longer read Malay.”
Kamar Mahtum said the last time the pair had seen each
other had been in 1967 when she won a place at university
and moved to London with her fiancé.
Two years later when the older sister married in
Malaysia, Siti Aishah failed to return.
She became more involved with radical politics, so the
communication dried up and she has never met any of her
older sister’s four children or 11 grandchildren.
Describing the meeting, which was attended by around 10
police officers and representatives from the Malaysian High
Commission, Kamar Mahtum said seeing that her sister was
safe meant she had achieved what she came to Britain to do.
She said: “It was a very emotional day, very revealing,
but then I was contented that I got what I wanted and I can
bring home the beautiful memories. I have a feeling that she
does want to come home eventually and that we will work hard
to persuade her.”
“At least I know that my feelings have never wavered, I
love her as my sister as I loved her before. I think she
loves me too but she’s not as ready to show it as much as I
She added: “The blood bonds us thickly as yet, 40-years
doesn’t make much change as far as that is concerned.”
Balakrishnan and his wife Pattni have been bailed until a
date in January.
Source: NST 30 Nov 2013
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Aishah happy in Britain, had wide circle of friends - Latest
- New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/siti-aishah-happy-in-britain-had-wide-circle-of-friends-1.416955#ixzz2mDLClBoK