Chin Community Mourns the Tragic Death of Dally Sui
By Amy Alexander – 6 April 2007- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Dally Sui was a young seven-year-old Chin girl who loved to sing and dance, watch cartoons, and eat traditional Burmese food. As her family prepared to be resettled to the United States, she was excited to begin a new life in America.
But all these hopes of a new life for Dally Sui ended after she went missing from her family’s home in Cheras around 7:00 pm on 20 March, just hours before the family’s scheduled departure from Malaysia. In the midst of a farewell prayer service and celebrations, the family realized Dally Sui was absent from the festivities and a search began. They filed a missing person’s report with the Cheras police around 2 am on 21 March. The search did not end until 27 March when her body was found.
The devastating discovery occurred around noon last Wednesday when 57-year-old Mohd Din Awang found the body of a small girl later identified as Dally Sui lying in some undergrowth. She was wearing a green tee shirt, shorts, and earrings. Her shoes were carefully placed next to her lifeless body. It was just four kilometers from her parent’s flat in Taman Maluri, Cheras.
Evidencing a brutal end to a beautiful young life, both of Dally’s hands were severed at the wrist. Despite police efforts, her hands remain unaccounted for. There were no other wounds on the body, leaving police to believe that she may have died from blood loss. Meanwhile, the search for Dally’s killer continues.
Dally Sui leaves behind her father, Uk Thang, her mother, Tuan Thlaui Chin, and two siblings, her brother Za Lian Ceu, age 13, and her sister, Iang Hlei Sung, age 10. The Chin community in Malaysia remains in mourning over the loss of such a young life. After finding Dally’s body, the community came together with Dally’s family and prayed.
Dally barely had a chance to begin living life before it was all stolen away. Life in Malaysia for seven-year-old Dally is far from ideal. Dally Sui and her family made the difficult journey to Malaysia in 2002 after fleeing from the oppressive Burma military regime. They came to Malaysia in the hopes of finding safety and peace. Life in Malaysia, however, has been is difficult for Dally’s family. Unrecognized and unwelcome by the Malaysian government, refugees are unable to work, receive an education, access healthcare services, or find acceptable living accommodations. Dally’s father had to support his family through odd jobs. Unprotected and vulnerable to harassment, detention, and potential deportation by the Malaysian authorities, Dally and her sister were rarely allowed to leave their house, which was shared with three other families. Most of her days were spent indoors playing with her only friend, her 10 year old sister Iang Hlei Sung. After surviving five years in Malaysia, Dally’s family was finally scheduled to be resettled to Indianapolis, Indiana on 21 March 2007.
Now the family struggles to find a way to pay for the funeral of their youngest member. Her body is still kept in HUKM hospital in Cheras. Meanwhile her death has heightened concerns in the Chin community about the safety of their children in Malaysia. Dally’s death came amidst an increasing lack of protection for refugee children by the Malaysian government. Within this past month, at least six children have been rounded up and detained by Malaysian immigration authorities. Two children are reportedly sick inside Semenyih detention center. Twelve years old Ngun Za Tial and her brother Bawi Lian Thang (Age 10) were arrested from their bed during a midnight raid by immigration in Jinjang. There has also been an increase in the number of violent crimes against refugees and undocumented migrants. These crimes often go unreported due to fear of the authorities, uninvestigated, and unpunished.
Despite the tragedy, Dally’s family will proceed with their plans to resettle to the U.S, bringing along with them the undying memory of Dally Sui.