Drug convict’s family to seek 2nd legal opinion
Siblings of S’porean to hang for drug trafficking in Malaysia to raise $50k in donations for appeal
By Elizabeth Soh, Straits Times, 24 March 2011
THE family of Singaporean Noor Atiqah M. Lasim, 27, who was sentenced to death last Friday by a Shah Alam High Court for drug trafficking, is now trying to raise $50,000 to get more legal advice.
Together with their close friends, Noor Atiqah’s sister, Madam Edayu M. Lasim, 31, and brother, Mr Zainal M. Lasim, 37, set up a website – SaveAtiqah.blogspot.com – on Tuesday to appeal for donations.
The family wants a second opinion on the case from a Singapore lawyer, even though Mr Mohaji Selamat – the Malaysian lawyer who was representing Noor Atiqah – had filed an appeal on the same day she was sentenced.
Mr Mohaji had told her family he was confident of winning the case, said a close family friend, Mr Mohammad Faizal Abdullah, 31. ‘Now we are just trying to focus on how to help her – the lawyer told us that it will take nearly a year to process her appeal,’ he said.
The family believes Noor Atiqah, the youngest of four children, is innocent. It has so far raised $700, mainly from her secondary school classmates. They are planning to raise more by selling clothes and snacks at a flea market stall in Hougang on Sunday.
She was arrested at Kuala Lumpur’s Low Cost Carrier Terminal on Jan 5, 2009 – after immigration officials found a packet containing 342.1g of heroin and 30.3g of monoacethymorphine sewed into the back flap of the blue trolley luggage she was carrying during security checks.
She is now in Dengkil Prison in Sepang, where she talks with her family by phone once a week for 30 minutes. The single mother, who never got married, has a six-year-old daughter.
According to her family, Noor Atiqah, previously an events planner, had travelled to Kuala Lumpur on Dec 26, 2008 with a long-time male friend, known only as Azam, to celebrate New Year’s Day. While there, she was approached by a man named Frank whom she had met during her previous business trips to Shenzhen, China. Frank had asked her to collect samples of imitation clothing from Shenzhen back to Malaysia, according to court documents.
He promised her US$500 when she reached Shenzhen – and gave her US$200 and RM100 for her expenses in Malaysia, said the court papers. When she agreed to it, a Ghanaian man known as Emeka passed her an AirAsia ticket on Jan 3, 2009 and a bag for storing the samples, which was later found to contain the drugs.
The Straits Times understands Emeka was acquitted of charges related to the case, but is in custody for other offences.
Noor Atiqah’s family claimed that she had been unwittingly lured into a drug ring by her Nigerian boyfriend Valentine, who had introduced her to Frank.
They said she met Valentine at a club in Clarke Quay in August 2008. Repeated attempts by the family to contact him after the incident have been unsuccessful.
Said Madam Edayu: ‘We just want her to come back. She has already missed two of her daughter’s birthdays, her only wish is to be there for the next one.’