Friday, August 14

Video of alleged Sarawakian refugee in Europe goes viral


This video screenshot shows Lily (right) and her European friend in a segment of the footage, where she appeals for help in obtaining the proper documents that would facilitate her return home.

KUCHING: A YouTube video of a girl – claiming to be a Sarawak Melanau who fell victim to slavery and human trafficking in Johor Bahru and ended up becoming a refugee after fleeing to Europe six years ago – has surfaced and gone viral on Facebook overnight.

On the 7.38-minute clip released under the ‘Polaris Northern Star Channel’ on May 9, the girl – identifying herself only as ‘Lily’ – was accompanied by a European man who claimed to be her guardian and best friend.

This footage has been watched over 300,000 times since, with over 500 comments posted as at noon yesterday.

Lily and her European guardian are also seen appealing to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – who led Pakatan Harapan to a historic victory in toppling the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in the just-concluded 14th general election (GE14) – for help in obtaining proper paperwork and securing her return to Malaysia.

Lily claimed that she was a victim of slavery when she was 23 and had gone through repeated abuse – being locked up, severely beaten and exploited in Johor Bahru – before escaping to Europe in 2011.

“This is a message to Dr Mahathir. I am very happy that you win the election 2018. I am a Malaysian national. I also suffer from the corruption and I heard you fight against corruption. I ask you for help because nobody wants to help me. I live in Europe for six years as a refugee.

“I am fleeing from corruption from Johor Bahru. The police tried to kill me. They actually set up the trap to kill me,” she said in the video message.

Lily also claimed that the criminals had attempted to sell her off as a slave for S$30,000 and the corrupt police officers of Taman University in Johor, who were involved, only watched as she was beaten and then locked up.

The European said when he met Lily in Singapore, he found out that she was being exploited and abused to the point that she would just collapse at times. She was suffering from severe health problems and all her money had been confiscated from here, he added.

“I didn’t know how bad the situation was. At certain moment, they tried to sell her (off). We were good friends. Later, corrupt police would help the criminals, grabbed her by the neck and slammed her head against the fence. They had their hands on the holsters and (had) actually told me that they would shoot me if I intervened.

“They stole all her belongings, stole my belongings. I pleaded with them not to do that and survived that (ordeal) and later when I was in the Netherlands, I still received phone calls from a corrupt police demanding payoff amount so that she would not get tortured or killed in Malaysia.

“We tried to talk to some police chiefs but they didn’t take us seriously. For six years, we (have) tried to ask help from a specific consulate, but we’re ridiculed.”

Following Pakatan Harapan’s victory in GE14, Lily said she saw the chance for her to return home safely.

“Lily really wants to go home. She is a Bumiputera Melanau from Sarawak. The thing that they (criminals) did was they had messed up with her paperwork. They changed the data (identity) and even her race from Chinese to Melanau to Dutch and suddenly, back (to being) a Malay,” the European said.

“I am serious and I really want to go home. I need proper documents with my real name and surname to return to Malaysia – and safely, with protection (against) the sick criminals,” Lily pleaded.

There was also another follow-up video to the first one – said to serve as ‘answer’ for the sceptics accusing the duo of being scammers.

In the second video, which runs for 10 minutes and 54 seconds, Lily is seen attempting to speak ‘Bahasa Melayu’ Sarawak (Sarawak Malay), emphasising that she has not spoken much Malay over the past six years and also that she speaks no Melanau.

“Melanau is only part of my mixed heritage of Melanau, Chinese and Dutch,” she is quoted as having said.