SINGAPORE - The lawyer who had taken on Ismil Kadar's case for free for six years - and then given him a job after he was acquitted - did not want to comment.
Ismil's sister was angry and disappointed, and did not want to say much either.
Only Ismil's 87-year-old mother was prepared to speak at length about him after he was sentenced for drug offences. Looking calm, Madam Asnah Ismail said in Malay yesterday: "When he wasn't taking these things, he was a good person."
Her son, an odd-job worker, had been jailed for taking drugs in 1999.
In 2005, he was held for suspected murder, convicted, then released last year. Now that he is back in jail, she said: "What can I say. It is just his fate."
She added that after his first arrest for taking drugs, she had told him to "save up for a marriage instead of spending it on drugs".
Ismil was arrested in her flat in Boon Lay on May 30 this year for suspected drug consumption. He was the only one of her 10 children to be living with her.
Asked if she suspected that he had returned to his old habits, the widow said: "How would I know if he took drugs? The room door was closed... It is not like I can observe him all the time."
She said the family rarely had guests over, and Ismil spent most of his time after work at home.
But, she added, he had also found himself a fiancee, and the woman had since delivered a boy. She said she has not been in contact with them since his arrest.
She said she was neither sad nor disappointed at the turn of events.
She believes his life has been mapped out by a higher power. "There is no use for anger. I can do nothing but pray to God for all that is good... I carried him in pregnancy... whether he is bad or good, I love him," she said.
Meanwhile, her younger son, Muhammad Kadar, 37, is on death row for the murder of a neighbour in 2005.
Not everyone has been as accepting of Ismil's latest tangle with the law.
His older sister, who lives in Jurong West and declined to be named, said: "Of course we were mad. We thought he had changed and was 'clean' already, and we had supported him all this time."
She added that she had not spoken to or seen him for a while as "we have been too busy to visit".
Mr R. Thrumurgan, 38, the lawyer who worked pro-bono for six years to get Ismil acquitted, also did not want to comment on the case yesterday.
He had hired Ismil as a dispatch assistant in his company last year so that his former client would have a job, and also to keep an eye on him.
Ismil would usually send Mr Thrumurgan a text message when he returned home to let him know he was okay.
On the day of the drug raid in May, the lawyer did not receive a text from him.
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