'Princesses' From Self-Proclaimed 'Sunda Empire' Have Been Detained In M'sia For 13 Years
Two women who insist they are 'royals' from a nation called 'Sunda Empire' have been detained in Malaysia for the past 13 years
Fathia Reza and Lamira Roro arrived in Kuching, Sarawak with their Sunda Empire passports in 2007, reported South China Morning Post.
They were 23 and 21 years old respectively when they arrived. Now in their thirties, they are currently being held at the Melaka Immigration Depot, according to the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
The embassy's coordinator for information and social-cultural affairs Agung Cahaya Sumirat had interviewed the duo, but they refused to admit their Indonesia citizenship. Hence, it rendered them in violation of the Malaysian immigration regulations.
"We have done at least three interviews. They don't want to claim their Indonesian citizenship status," Tribun News quoted Agung as saying on 19 June.
"Our impression is that their belief in being a member of the Sudanese Empire is what matters most [to them]."
A lawyer representing the duo, identified as Erwin, said his clients are daughters of the so-called grand prime minister of the Sunda Empire, Nasri Banks
In January, Nasri Banks and his wife were arrested in Indonesia for fraud
They were charged under Articles 14 and 15 of the 1946 Misinformation Law, which carries sentences of up to 10 and two years' jail respectively, reported The Jakarta Post.
Investigators had questioned dozens of witnesses, historians, and cultural experts in relation to the claims made by the 'royals' and concluded that the narrative promoted by them was false.
The Sunda Empire professed that they existed since 323 BC and that the United Nations were under their control
Based in Bandung, West Java, the 'empire' said they were on the mission to settle the country's debt with the World Bank by 2020.
Their claims, packaged in a nine-minute video posted on Facebook and YouTube, had caused a sensation online earlier this year.
Academics and historical observers were deeply concerned about the controversy, contending that past grandeur of ancient kingdoms could be used for deception and gaining power.