12th August, 2012
JAKARTA: It is said a father’s love can move mountains.
None can dispute that.
An anguished Malaysian father’s love for his 15-year-old daughter, who eloped with an Indonesian lorry driver from Sabah in May this year, saw him crossing the sea to Flores Island, Indonesia.
Mounting a search mission which spanned three months since the girl’s disappearance on May 9, the man who wished to be known only as Abdullah, spared no effort to find the apple of his eye.
Three months later, his efforts paid off. The teenager was found staying with her Indonesian husband near a port at Geliting village in Maumere, Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur.
In an interview Friday, Abdullah told Malaysian reporters that he managed to rescue his daughter, Adrianna (not her real name) from her 23-year-old husband, Sukri, and sought help from the Malaysian Embassy there.
He thanked all quarters which were involved in the rescue mission, including the Sabah, Penampang and Indonesian policemen, and the Malaysian Foreign Ministry.
However, Adrianna is in a confused state of mind.
Recalling the incident, Abdullah said he became aware, only two days after his daughter had disappeared from the Keningau Vocational Secondary School hostel in Sabah, when her class teacher contacted him.
Meanwhile, Adrianna said that on May 9, she and Sukri planned their escape by forging her mother’s signature on the hostel release record and lying to her friends that she would be transferred to another school.
She said she left the school in a taxi to Penampang to meet Sukri before embarking on a 10-hour bus ride to Tawau and a 30-minute boat journey to Nunukan, Indonesia.
Two weeks after arriving in Nunukan, Adrianna said she secretly married Sukri with help from an Islamic religious teacher, and paid the man Rp5 million. They boarded an eight-storey passenger ship to Maumere port, Flores, which took them a week to arrive.
She said, at Geliting village, they lived in a small house and worked together to earn a living by selling peeled tamarind.
“Sometimes, Sukri brought home some fish which he caught at the port,” she said.
Adrianna said she met Sukri last year when his company’s lorry broke down outside her home in Sabah. They exchanged contact numbers and their romance blossomed. Her family was in the dark over their relationship.
She said she was always in contact with Sukri after he gave her a cell phone when she moved into the hostel to continue her studies as a form four student – until she planned the escape to Indonesia.