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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Foster family in tug of love over boy repatriated from Singapore

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:14 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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PETALING JAYA - "Please let us see him one more time so that he knows we have not abandoned him." This is the plea by the Singaporean foster family of four-year-old Zack who was repatriated from the island republic when his Malaysian mother was released from Changi Prison after serving her jail term.

The boy, who was born in Singapore and remains stateless, was sent to Malaysia last June after Singapore's Community Development, Youth and Sports Ministry (MCYS) requested Malaysian citizenship for him to return with his mother.

However, his mother has since gone missing and Zack, who was initially placed in a children's welfare home, was transferred to another foster home in Johor. His father, a Singaporean, is still in jail.

When Zack was handed over to the Malaysian welfare authorities across the causeway, it was the first time he stepped into the country and also the last he saw of his foster family. He was briefly reunited with his biological mother who was a stranger to him.

On the day his mother was sent to prison, Zack, who was then only nine months old, was placed under the care of his foster mother Asmah Hassan and her family in Singapore.

Asmah, 54, who said she last saw Zack eight months ago, appealed to the authorities for his return or to allow the family to meet him one more time. The homemaker with three grown-up children said neither she nor her family had seen Zack since he was "whisked away" from their HDB flat.

MCYS, which had come under fire from Netizens over Zack's repatriation, had clarified in a statement that the child was born out of wedlock to a Malaysian mother and hence was not a Singapore citizen by birth. His citizenship status followed that of his mother's, it said.

Info : News

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