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Alleged MFA trespasser has long history of mental illness, says relative

A Malaysian school teacher charged with criminal trespass in Singapore has a long history of mental illness, a relative has said.

SINGAPORE: A Malaysian school teacher charged with criminal trespass in Singapore has a long history of mental illness, a relative has said.

In an interview with The Star newspaper in Malaysia published on Friday, the teacher's aunt, Madam Hanifah Che Pi, said her niece had been on medication since she was a teenager.

28-year-old Nurul Ruhana Ishak was arrested on Monday after slipping past security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She had allegedly entered Singapore in a Malaysian-registered car after evading clearance at Woodlands Checkpoint.

Nurul Ruhana had managed to leave the checkpoint without being stopped by immigration authorities.

By the time officers had raised the alarm, her car could not be located despite an immediate lockdown of the arrival car zone.

Madam Hanifah said Nurul Ruhana, who is from Pendang, in Kedah state, suffered from depression.

Still, she did well in school, graduated from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2010, and became a teacher.

The family said they are still puzzled as to why she drove to Singapore.

Nurul Ruhana is currently remanded at the Institute of Mental Health.

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