IPOH - S. Nirmala Malar Kodi was supposed to have been home for a holiday in June - but her family now wants her to return from North Korea for good.
Her sister S. Komala Theinmoli, 48, said she was afraid and feared for her safety. Nirmala is an administrative assistant at the Malaysian embassy in Pyonyang, and is one of 11 people stranded there after the North Korean government barred Malaysians from leaving the country.
"I'm scared but I'm also confident that our Government will protect her and the other 10 people at the embassy. I just want her to come home and I don't want her to go there again," she said yesterday.
Komala, who has a stall in the Kuala Kangsar market, said she last spoke to Nirmala, 45, on Thaipusam day and the last time they met was in 2015.
She described her sister as friendly only to those who were close to her but very reserved with others.
"When she got the job with the Foreign Ministry, we were happy because she was going to serve the country.
"Many people said negative things about North Korea, but she was brave. I have read stories about their leaders and the human rights issues there.
"But I knew Nirmala was ready to go and I didn't stop her."
Another sister S. Janaga Malar Vili, 53, said she spoke to Nirmala two days ago.
Janaga said things were tense when Wisma Putra called her to inform the family of the situation. She added the family has been trying to get in touch with her."Before she called, I was worried because there was no information on her whereabouts.
"We were relieved when she called me. But we want her to come back," she added.
Janaga, who also last met Nirmala in 2015, said her sister was supposed to come here in June.
"Many people thought she was trapped in the embassy, but she is able to go around Pyongyang without any problem.
"She told me she could get her groceries there. Nirmala is fine and she knows Malaysia is doing something for them.
"As a sister, I'm glad she is safe and sound.
"When she told me that she's coming home in June, we had planned to go for an outing," she added.
Another sister S. Shobhanaa, 43, said she feared the worst when reporters called her for comments about Nirmala.
"When she called, I was relieved. I know the Government is doing its best. The embassy has told us that everything is fine but we were told not to reveal any information to outsiders," she added.
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