Woman searches for long-lost siblings

Woman searches for long-lost siblings
An old photograph of Chiteradewi and her mum Mabel.

PETALING JAYA - A Malaysia-born woman in Norway pining for her long-lost siblings has turned to The Star and the Scandinavian country's largest commercial TV station, TV2, for help to find them.

Maria Chiteradewi Oaland, 56, who was born Chiteradewi Thambu­samy, said she had not seen her elder sister Muniama and brothers Mani and Segar since she was a baby.

Her siblings, she said, should be between 60 and 57.

Maria, who was legally adopted by her aunt Margaret Mary and her husband in 1974, said her mother had left the family when she was a baby and when the family lived in Macalister Road, Penang.

"I was told that when my mother handed me over to her sister, I was only a baby," said Maria via e-mail.

Maria, who works as a beautician in Stavenger, said the idea of searching for her siblings had grown over time and that "it was now or never".

"With this search, I am hoping to make a final closure and fill a deep gap inside my soul," she said, adding that she first initiated the search with her Norwegian husband, Sigbjorn Oaland, 58, in 2012 by contacting various agencies in Malaysia and placing an advertisement in a local newspaper.

Unfortunately, there was no response as her siblings would not know her as Maria but as Chitera or Chiteradewi.

"I would like to tell my siblings that not one day has passed without me thinking about them, missing them or worrying about them," she said, adding that she wanted to get to know them.

Maria and her siblings were born in Kuala Kedah to taxi driver Thambusamy Murugaya, who died on April 8, 1968, at the age of 47. At that time, the family lived in Kg Kelang Ice.

"I have unconfirmed information that after my father's death, my three siblings ended up in an orphanage in Teluk Intan," she said, adding that another aunt had informed her that in 1973, her two brothers had come to see their grandmother in Penang and asked about her and their mother.

"My grandmother told them that she did not know where we were because my mother, who had remarried and moved to Singapore, asked her not to reveal our location," said Maria, who later moved to Singapore and subsequently married a Norwegian.

She moved to Norway in 1999 before divorcing and later remarrying in 2007.

Her mother, who is still alive, cannot provide her with the information.

Oaland's search caught the attention of TV2's Sporlos (English title - Missing Pieces) show, which, according to producer Mari Glans, covers the world in the hope of reuniting Norwegians with their long-lost loved ones abroad.

Those with information on Oaland's siblings can e-mail yoga@thestar.com.my.

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