Being stranded in Sarawak for 30 years

Travelling is definitely a fun experience as being in a foreign land and having plans on places to visit can be very calming and a healing experience for those who are in need for a different environment. While that may be all in good fun, some have to travel to a different location in hopes to have their earnings increased. With that, oftentimes when encountered with untimely issues is also a very big problem whether it being travelling or working in a foreign land. 

That was the case with Salmah Adeh, a woman from Labuan who went to Sarawak with hopes to secure a better income. Salmah left for Sarawak 32 years ago, she was stuck in Sarawak and was homeless. At that point of time, Salmah lost her necessary items, which was her identity card and money in a snatch theft case in Sibu. 

However, her family in Labuan did all they could to try to trace Salmah but with no results. During her period in Sibu, she managed to find work with a market vendor in the Sibu Central Market and a place to stay, with her employer whom she calls ‘hajah’. When her employer passed away, Salmah was left to fend herself on as she was homeless after that. 

A long reunion

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The story didn’t end there. Instead Salmah was taken to the Sibu Hospital when a Samaritan found her in a weakened state on Jan 8 this year. With the help of Bernama’s Sibu-based correspondent, they then managed to contact her nephew Zamain Ma’in in Labuan. With the interstate travel ban, her reunion with her family was stalled. 

Nonetheless, non-governmental organisation Persatuan Amal Kebajikan Insan Sarawak (PAKIS) and the social welfare departments in Sibu and Lawas began efforts to reunite Salmah with her family. On Feb 27, Salmah was finally reunited with her only daughter who is now 47 years old. After such a long ordeal that the family has faced and gone through, it’s heart-warming that Salmah is now with her family and it wouldn’t happen without the people and organisations.