Sunday, December 2, 2007
Bernama - 01/12/2007
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 (Bernama) -- The mother of Raja Munirah Raja Iskandar who was sentenced to seven years' jail by a Japanese court for attempting to smuggle drugs, believes that her daugther was hoodwinked by an Iranian man.
Karimah Mamat, 46, said the Iranian man whom she knew as Milad had offered Munirah a monthly salary of about RM9,000 if she took up a job as public relations officer with his company in Japan.
"He also came to my house several times and I thought he was a good man. He even arranged everything for her because I did not have the money to send her to Japan," she told Bernama.
A day before Munirah left for Japan to attend the interview, Milad came to her house and told Munirah, who initially planned to carry a big luggage, that it was better for her to bring a smaller one, she said.
He also agreed to lend Munirah his bag, Karimah said.
"I am sure my daughter was hoodwinked. I know my daughter. She spends her holidays at home with her younger siblings. She is not a person who likes to party or socialise," she said.
Raja Munirah, 22, is a mass communication student at private college here.
She was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty, on her counsel's advice, to attempting to smuggle 690 grammes of syabu at the Narita International Airport in Tokyo, on Dec 20 last year.
Her appeal will be heard on Tuesday.
"At first, it was difficult for me to let go but because we needed money at the time -- to pay for house and car instalments and the bills -- I finally agreed," Karimah said.
She said she had hoped that Munirah would help the family had the job offer been genuine.
Munirah decided to quit college because her study fees were high and with her getting the job, she would be able help her siblings -- Raja Nazrin Shah, 18; Raja Maizurah, 15; Raja Ridzuan Shah, 10; and Raja Daniel Shah, three -- Karimah said.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said: "We pray for everything to go well for the girl."
She also reminded women in the country to be careful and not be easily taken in by anyone.
"I have seen many cases worldwide where women are used as tools or letting themselves be used as tools. She was negligent and this will impact on her own life," she told reporters.
Munirah's lawyer, Rosal Azimin Ahmad, told Bernama that a Japanese businessman Takashi Kato, 58 and his wife, Kaoru Kato, 52, had offered to help Munirah in anyway they could including as interpreters during the appeal hearing.
"Munirah's lawyer in Japan, Nishiguchi, does not know English. Nobody knows English in this case," he said.
Asked on Munirah's chances of winning, Rosal said: "Fifty-fifty but everything is possible.
"If we fail at the High Court, we still have another avenue at the Court of Appeal. One sure thing is we will try hard because Munirah is innocent," he said.