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Daisy Fajarina, 44, is well-known as the feisty mother of Manohara Odelia Pinot – the 17-year-old teen model who claimed to be raped, kidnapped and abused by her Kelantan royal husband.
Married twice – first to an American, and later to a French – Daisy has indeed come a long way from her South Sulawesi island in Indonesia.
Highly protective to her two beautiful daughters, Daisy fought tooth and nail to rescue Manohara from her not-so-charming prince, 32-year-old Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra.
Malaysiakini talked to Daisy last week while waiting for Manohara to take a break from shooting a soap opera at the studios of a private television station in Jakarta.
When did you and your daughter meet the prince?
We met Tengku (Muhammad Fakhry Petra) at a dinner party; this dinner was held for (Prime Minister) Najib Abdul Razak, so Najib was also there. The prince introduced himself to Manohara and me, my first impression of him was that Tengku was a well-mannered person.
How did the relationship between Tengku and Manohara developed?
Their relationship was developed mainly through phone conversations, because Tengku was in KL (Kuala Lumpur) and Manohara was in Jakarta. Tengku kept calling her frequently – he called her three to five times a day at that time.
Manohara also called the prince sometimes. She said that he was an interesting guy to talk to, the prince always reminded her to practice daily prayers (solat).
Tengku kept trying to give us an impression that he is a good person. His people said that Manohara was Tengku’s first love and that he never had any girlfriend that he treated seriously before. She was the first person Tengku fell in love with.
We believed what Tengku told us because we thought that he was an honest and shy person, so things went on until November 2007.
When Manohara was 15 years old, we went on a cruise from Singapore to Bali, and we stopped at Komodo Island, that was when Manohara was raped by the prince.
I was not aware of this until December 2007 (New Year’s Eve), it has been a habit (kebiasaan) for me and my daughters to do confession before the New Year, we will ask forgiveness from each other for the wrong things we have done, and to improve on our wrong things the following year.
Then Manohara told me that she had lost her virginity, her sister and I were very shocked when we heard this. We were asking: “How could this happened?”
I am the type of mother who never let my children to go out alone. Everywhere they go, I will go with them. That is why it was so hard for me to believe it (susah nak percaya). When I asked her who did this to her, she said it was Tengku.
I called Tengku and he apologised. He said: “Aunty, I am very sorry, I promised you that I will be responsible for this.”
Could Manohara have given consent to the prince to have sex with her?
We will let the police investigation decide on this. Manohara said that she was forced because Tengku told her that if she does not do it, it means she does not love him. And he asked Manohara not to worry about it.
You said that Manohara told you she was raped by Tengku at the end of 2007 (December), and you and Manohara went to the cruise with Tengku in November, that means she told you about the rape a month later. Did you lodge any police report?
Well, it was not easy for me. I loved Tengku too and I was close to him. As a mother, I was unready to hear Tengku saying: “Well, it’s happened. I am sorry.”
I mean, what can you do? It will be a huge embarrassment (malu) and humiliation for us. I was thinking, what am I going to do with Manohara later? Sooner or later she will get married, and as a mother, it is normal to have that kind of worry.
Although I was angry at Tengku … but at the same time I was relieved because he admitted what he had done, he apologised and said that he would be responsible (for it).
During the time when they were exchanging phone calls, Manohara did not love the prince but just liked him?
When they first met, I did not believe that Manohara liked him. She just treated him as a person she just met, as a friend. Tengku was charming, well-behaved. Who does not like a person with that kind of attitude?
So all of you went for the cruise, it was a family trip, and the rape happened during that time. You got to know about the rape about a month later, you confronted Tengku and he admitted.
Yes, I was very angry. I even said to Tengku: “With all due respect, Tengku, I heard that in Kelantan, (if you have raped a girl), they will punish you by whipping you with bamboo (rotan), and Tengku answered: “Yes Aunty, please forgive me; it happened because I love Manohara and she loves me too. One thing I promise you is that I will marry her and I will be responsible.”
After the event (rape), what happened?
I started to be a bit distant from Tengku, so did Manohara. But like I said, Tengku is a kind of person that you will just be melted by his charm, the way he talked was just so polite.
After the event, I kept feeling unbelievable (tidak sangka) that this really happened because Tengku had acted so polite. Why he did this to us? One of my friends reminded me: “Daisy, this (polite person) is not him! You kept saying that he is nice, but since he was born, he has been bound by protocol. People have to do that, especially the public figures. He (Tengku) is a public figure, he is a sultan’s son, and he has to be well-behaved in the public.”
That was like a slap on my face because I never think that far.
After your confrontation with Tengku, and you avoided him, but then the two of them got married?
I was in USA when Manohara told me about the rape. And I came back to Jakarta and all the meetings and forgiveness thing happened. Finally in August, I was called and told that the Sultan and Raja (perempuan, the queen) would loved to meet us, so we flew to KL on the 17th of August 2008, and we met with the Raja and Sultan in Shangri-la Hotel on the 19th.
In the room, Raja asked Tengku and Manohara whether they liked each other, they said yes. Then Raja said in that case, she wanted both of them to get married as soon as possible.
Raja said that because as a Muslim, the relationship between Manohara and Tengku was like an indirect “zina” at the moment as they were not married.
Did you personally met with the Kelantan royal family?
Yes, I personally spoke to Sultan and his wife, Raja.
Before meeting with the royal family, I was taught how to walk and talk to them. They told me that I cannot say no to the royal family because it would be an insult to them. I was taught to always say “yes, Tuanku and yes, Raja”.
So after meeting with Raja, I left the room and met with Raja’s sister, Tengku Anisah and Datuk Wan Hassan and Tengku, and I told them that Raja wanted Manohara to be married to Tengku, I said to them: “With all due respect, I am as a mother, and also on behalf of Manohara’s family, inviting one of the family member of Tengku to come to Jakarta to discuss about their wedding matters (membicarakan masalah perkahwinan).
However, they told me that I cannot go back (to Jakarta) anymore until the wedding, so I asked them when was the wedding, they said that it will be on the 26th of August, which means one week away from the meeting at Shangri-la hotel.
We only had one week time for our preparation until the ‘adat nikah’ (wedding ceremony) on the 26th.
What I did was that I went to the Indonesian embassy the next day and make a report on the wedding, the embassy told me that I had to get a letter from the Kantor Urusan Agama Indonesia (Office of Religious Affairs), only then they could release permission for Manohara to get married in Malaysia.
However, Manohara’s father (who was in US) disagreed with the marriage, saying that Manohara should not get married before she was 17. He also wanted to be present at his daughter’s wedding. So I kindly asked the family of Tengku to wait until February, which was six months later, for the wedding.
They disagreed. Without the agreement from her father, the Kantor cannot issue a letter. I did not want my daughter’s marriage to be a illegal one.
Then I spoke to the Raja, and asked whether we can let Manohara to be engaged to Tengku first, because there was no letter of agreement from her father, the Kantor and permission from the embassy, we did not have anything in paper to allow their marriage.
He replied that this would be quite difficult, because it was the Raja’s will. He said that we would further discuss the matter when we went back to Kelantan.
After we went back to Kelantan, on the 25th afternoon – one day before the marriage – Manohara and I still did not agree to the marriage. Despite our disagreement, Raja just went on with the preparations of the wedding within the palace (istana).
Basically they did not care whether we agree to the wedding and whether we had the paper of permission or not.
Manohara Odelia Pino, 17, is kissed by her mother, DaisyOne of the people from the palace who frequently communicated with us, asked us whether we wanted the royal family to be our family, I said yes. And I said: “Of course, yes!”
Then he answered: “If you want the royal family to be your family, why can’t you just agree with the wedding now? After the wedding in Malaysia, we will go to Indonesia and we will do this properly there. It is impossible the royal family will not do things properly.”
At 3pm that day, they took Manohara and me to the palace and we got to see all the preparations for the wedding going on within the palace.
They said to me: “Look, Raja has already prepared everything, can you say no to this?” Finally we agreed to the wedding. I told them on the 26th, 11am: “Okay, let’s do this.”
Then we went to a shop owned by a Datuk’s wife to rent clothes and everything, to prepare ourselves for the wedding. Of course, I agreed to the wedding after they promised that they would come to Indonesia and do everything properly, but it never happened.
So on the night of 26th, they got married?
How was the relationship between you and the royal family?
My relationship with the royal family was okay because at that time it was Ramadan, so from time to time, I went to the Istana Mahkota to do ‘solat’, (and) sometimes (I) have my meals together with the royal family. It was fine.
Were you staying in the palace?
No, I was staying at Tengku’s house.
During that time, how was the relationship between Manohara and the prince?
Immediately after the marriage, we saw the difference in Tengku. He was not so patient anymore, for example when I talked to him, and he did not like what I was talking, he would just walk away. It was so different compared to before (the marriage). He was still nice, but not so nice compared to before. There was a lack of patience (kesabaran) and respect (hormat) in him.
Before the wedding, he was a gentleman. He even helped to carry Manohara’s bag. When I was cooking in the kitchen, he would asked whether I need help or not. I was really “in love” with him at that time.
Were you surprised of Tengku’s sudden change?
I was very surprised.
Did you talk about this with Manohara?
I did not want to talk about this with Manohara, because I did not want to hurt her feelings. So the day after the wedding, they went for a honeymoon somewhere in Thailand, at 3am, her sister called me and said that Manohara was in her room.
At that time I was in Kelantan. Her sister (Dewi) told me that Tengku kicked her out from their room. They already started having arguments and problems.
During the honeymoon (trip), who were the people with them?
They were Datuk Wan Hassan, Tengku, Manohara, my eldest daughter and others.
How do you feel after their first argument?
I just can’t believe it. I felt that this was not Tengku. It was impossible because he was never like that before. At that time, I treated the royal family with full respect, thinking that after the wedding in Kelantan, they would go to Jakarta and do the ‘lamaran’ (marriage offer) and everything. I really put my ‘maruah’ (dignity) on the line and my pride aside because of my love for Tengku.
People are saying that they (the royal family) had given me a big sum of money, I swear to God, I didn’t get anything from them.
Before a wedding, the bridegroom’s family will normally send some kind of ‘hantaran’ (gift) to the bride’s family. Did the royal family send you any ‘hantaran’?
No, I was not presented with any ‘hantaran’. But during the wedding, they gave Manohara ‘mas kahwinan’ (dowry) worth RM15,000 and some jewellry.
Where is the jewellry now?
The jewellry is now with Manohara and she is ready to return them to the royal family anytime. It is not that we wanted to know the price of the jewellry, but since the situation became like this, we asked a jeweler to estimate the price, and the price of all the jewellry is about US$5,000.
After you heard about their argument, did you talk to any of the royal family members?
Yes, I did. But they said that there was nothing I can do. I cannot say anything to Tengku. One of the bodyguards who is working for Tengku said: “I am sorry, but that’s how Tengku is. If he wants something, he will have it.” One of the employees of Tengku told me that he is completely different from one of his brothers, who is very kind and respectful.
After the couple came back from their honeymoon, what happened?
I talked to Tengku and asked him why he became like this. He swore to me that he did not do anything bad to Manohara, and the way he spoke to me was very nice again.
After that, Manohara started to attend official functions?
Not so much.
How long were you in the palace?
I was there for about a month, until Hari Raya (October), after that there was a ceremony (acara). And after that we took a train to Singapore – that was when Manohara decided to leave him and go back to Jakarta because it seemed like Tengku was not going to change.
She said that Tengku was mean and looked down on us because we were Indonesian, and we could be paid (bought). In Singapore, we were not allowed to keep our passports. There was a guy from the Malaysian embassy who wanted to keep our passports, (and) we had an argument.
When did that happened?
When all of you decided to leave, was there any argument?
There was an argument. Manohara went to the hospital after we arrived in Singapore after a nine-hour trip. Manohara’s sister contacted her to tell her that we (Manohara’s mother, sister and mother’s friend) were not being offered a room, and we had to wait at the lobby. When Manohara asked Tengku about this, he said that we had to show the hotel counter our passports in order to check in.
But Manohara knew that if we told the hotel workers that we were the family of Tengku, sure they would lead us to our rooms immediately. So Manohara was insulted. Tengku even said: “Why don’t you ask them to pay themselves?” But we cannot afford to pay for the hotel rooms ourselves.
Then Manohara decided not to stay at the hospital and rushed to the hotel to help us get our rooms first. Tengku was very angry because he wanted Manohara to stay at the hospital.
She argued with him, saying that if Tengku did not want to help her sister to get the hotel rooms, she did not want to stay at the hospital.
Manohara also asked Tengku to send some bodyguards to the hotel because there was no point for all the bodyguards to stay at the hospital.
After that, in the hotel room, I told Manohara that “I was devastated, I was hated by our family in Indonesia, and now you are arguing with Tengku, I felt embarrassed and felt like I want to die”. I said, “Manohara please”. She said, “Mom, I do not want to because he’s done too much.”
I come to T(engku), I said to T “as a mother, as your mother and as Manohara’s mother, I’ve come here to apologise. If Manohara’s actions weren’t right, forgive her (perlakuan Manohara tidak berkenan, maafkan juga lah), she’s only 17. So you have to understand, you are almost twice her age. At least, you have to understand.”
Manohara Odelia Pino, 17,T(engku) said that if Raja didn’t forgive her, then “I cannot forgive her. So you have to ask forgiveness from Raja first”, so Manohara became more angry. She said this guy didn’t realise what he had been doing to us, embarrassing our family (mempermalukan keluarga kami). And I already made a promise to my family because I trust them right?
So when my family asked, “What’s going on? Why you put your daughter in (such a) marriage like that?” I said, “No, no, we are all going to go there (to Jakarta for a proper marriage)”. They were all waiting and they thought that I just bluffed them. So Manohara decided to come to Indonesia and she stayed in Indonesia until February.
So from October 2008 until February 2009, all of you were in Indonesia?
Did Tengku try to make contact or anyone from the royal family…?
Tengku tried everything. He’s contacted one of the high-ranking people here to help us go back to Kuala Lumpur.
We said, “We would love to go back, but come on, do things first like you promised us before, that you were going to do the (wedding) ceremony here.” And finally, (Mohd) Soberi (Shafii) keeps asking me to appoint him as middleman to make this ‘silaturahim baik kembali’ (reconciliation).
Soberi is Tengku’s good friend?
Soberi is Tengku’s good friend now. Since then he has become a good friend of Tengku’s – because of us. We basically trusted him.
During that four-month period – November 2008 to February 2009 – that was the time Soberi came into the picture?
Soberi came into the picture on and off, but more actively starting January 2009.
So he was acting as an ‘orang tengah’ (middleman)?
Yes, ‘orang tengah’. Like now Tengku ‘sadarin kesalahannya’ (realised his mistake), so Ibu make invitation for 2,000 to 3,000 people. I don’t need 2,000 to 3,000 people, just need 300 or 200 people okay as long as there are Manohara and Tengku sitting there. Then people can see that this is Manohara’s husband.
Because the rumours are like Manohara’s husband is probably 70 or 60 years old, or probably ‘bukan anak raja’ (not a prince). So I just wanted it to be official.
It didn’t work. Did Tengku try to call Manohara?
So things still didn’t work out?
No, because they wanted us to go back there, and we just wanted them to fulfil their promise first.
Even Manohara was firm on that?
Yes, Manohara was very firm in saying that you had to deliver what you had promised us, which was to do the wedding here (Jakarta) as well.
Part Two to come later.