PETALING JAYA - They said they wanted to be famous and star in TV shows. Both Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong are now infamous and the stars in a different kind of reality show.
The two women were the focus of international and local media when they were charged with murder at the Sepang Court Complex. The proceedings, however, were overshadowed by the sheer number of policemen and arms on show at the courthouse.
Policemen lined the street, cordoning off parts of the courthouse with yellow tape. Heavily-armed and balaclava-clad Special Task Force on Organised Crime (Stafoc) personnel were on lookout duty at many high points around the building.
And even the accused were brought out of the courthouse wearing bullet-proof vests with Stafoc men around them.
The Inspector-General of Police said they were just preparing for any eventuality but Universiti Sains Malaysia criminologist and psychologist Dr Geshina Ayu Mat Saat said the security forces may have been worried about the safety of the accused or have received intelligence on some threat.
She said it was unprecedented for the accused to wear bulletproof vests.
"Bulletproof vests are usually accorded to witnesses or victims," she said.
She added that the high security could be also due to the global attention that the case has garnered.
Outside the courthouse yesterday, the two women had hundreds of videos and cameras trained on them. Their charging was the headline news for major media organisations around the world, including BBC, New York Times, Sky News and Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal and The Mirror.
The media glare is ironic for Siti Aisyah, 25, who had reportedly told her friends and family in Indonesia that she had been invited to act in a movie and that the "shooting" would take place in North Korea.
On the night before the assassination, Siti also had a wild night out with her friends in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate her pending success as an Internet celebrity and had appeared shy when they commented that she was going to be a "big star".
Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 29, was a keen singer, who is said to have auditioned for the Vietnam Idol talent show and appeared in another online video by a YouTuber.
Her Facebook page, under the name of Ruby Ruby, showed her posing in a number of selfies and glamour shots.
Neither of them had bargained for the limelight that they are now under.
Both women will come under the media glare again at the next court date that will be on April 13, when prosecutors will apply for the accused to be tried jointly.
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