Raja Datuk Kamarul Bahrin Shah confirmed to News Ltd newspapers that his daughter, Raja Shahirah Aishah, 20, had returned to Melbourne at the weekend to meet her mother, the Associated Press reported.
The meeting was the latest twist in what was once Australia's highest-profile custody battle, pitting a ballet dancer against the prince from Terengganu, Malaysia.
Mother and daughter declined to be interviewed yesterday, but Pascarl's current husband, software accounts manager Bill Cocaris, told reporters outside their Melbourne home that the two women were ecstatic to meet again.
‚ÄúThey wish you to know that they are very, very happy, joyful in fact,‚ÄĚ Cocaris said.
Raja Bahrin snatched Raja Shahirah Aishah and her brother Raja Mohd Baharuddin Shah from his former wife during an access visit in a Melbourne hotel in 1992.
The girl, then aged seven, and her nine-year-old brother were smuggled from Australia in a fishing boat, local newspapers reported.
‚ÄúShe wants to be with her mother, so what is there to say?‚ÄĚ the papers quoted Raja Bahrin as saying. ‚ÄúIt is only natural that she wants to visit her mother. She is a big girl now, going to be 21.‚ÄĚ
The mother was a 17-year-old ballerina when she met and fell in love with Raja Bahrin, who was an architecture student at Melbourne University. They married in Malaysia in March 1981.
In 1985, while in Australia with her children, Pascarl filed for divorce and was granted custody of the children. Raja Bahrin was allowed access.
Two weeks after the children were abducted in July 1992, Raja Bahrin held a news conference in Kuala Lumpur where he said the real kidnapping occurred in 1985.
In Kuala Terengganu, Raja Bahrin appealed to the Australian media to respect his daughter's privacy, K. Suthakar reported.
‚ÄúLet family matters run its course instead of complicating things unnecessarily,‚ÄĚ he said when met yesterday.
Raja Bahrin, 51, who is a cousin of Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, said Raja Shahirah Aishah, a second year art architecture student at Universiti Teknologi Mara, expressed her intention to visit her mother last year.
‚ÄúI agreed and told her to find a suitable time. She left last Saturday to coincide with her stepsister's birthday celebration.‚ÄĚ
Asked whether she would return, Raja Bahrain said: ‚ÄúShe told me that she will come back by the end of the month. I do things in good faith.
‚ÄúIf my son also wants to visit his mother, I will allow him. But he has not asked yet,‚ÄĚ he added.
Edited by ken_zie, 06 April 2006 - 08:23 AM.