News of former TV3 newscaster Zalina Azman’s 8-month disappearance shocked concerned citizens merely 2 days ago, and it seems that nationwide investigations have already sprung into action.
Yesterday, a cafe owner took to Twitter to assert claims that a woman who resembled Zalina was spotted at his cafe in Section 9, Shah Alam Selangor at about 1 p.m on Sunday (July 17).
According to him, she looked anxious and was shivering with fear.
“When she was at the counter to order food, she looked back, left and right. It was a bit odd and when I asked her if everything was okay, she kept mum.
“Another employee asked her to take a seat and take the order later. She did not speak much but the only thing she said was ‘I am afraid of metal’. She sounded afraid, like something had happened,” he said, in the now-deleted tweet.
He also noted that the woman’s reaction may have been due to his cafe having plenty of metal, such as metal bars and windows with metal mesh. She was also allegedly afraid to enter the cafe and stood for a long time at the front door.
“I am unsure why she behaved that way but she could have been hesitant to enter as the doorknob is metal as well. When she was about to leave the shop, she hit the door probably because she did not want to hold the knob.
“I felt bad seeing her that way as she seemed hungry but she left. She seemed insecure, scared and looked like she felt threatened,” he added.
The cafe owner then stated that he went out of the shop to see which direction the woman was headed and noticed that she was walking aimlessly like she was looking for something, but at a fast pace.
“At that point we just hoped she was safe as we did not even manage to offer her food,” he said of the matter.
Upon reading the news of Zalina’s disappearance, an uneasiness struck him as the description reported by news outlets was similar to the woman he met at his cafe.
“I immediately went to the police headquarters in Shah Alam to inform them. Her demeanour, size and skin colour matched the description of the police report.
“The police told me the person I described was wearing the same attire as Zalina when she disappeared, namely, a jacket.
“This is the first time I saw someone so afraid of metal. I am worried that this woman has been kidnapped or tortured to the point of trauma when seeing metal,” he said.
The man also disclosed on social media that the woman was only holding money, and did not have a wallet or other belongings on her person at the time. Additionally, shoes were not worn properly and appeared untied.
An outpour of concern and worry quickly encircled the Twitter post, and the cafe owner was also surprised at the diligence of reporters who were quick to swarm the cafe, waiting on any indication of Zalina’s presence.
However, the same night, Shah Alam police chief Iqbal Ibrahim denied the allegations.
He stated that in the wake of Zalina’s vanishing, many people have come forward claiming to have seen a woman who closely resembled her.
“We investigated the statements and discovered that it is not her. However, we have received multiple tip-offs. Some claim to have seen her at a hotel in Shah Alam, but she was revealed to be a homeless person,” he told FMT.
The 58-year-old beloved reporter and talk show host was reported missing by her son Mikhael Norman, 33, on Nov 29, 2021 after 5 days of failed attempts to contact her.
Subsequently, police found that her residence in Seksyen 13, where she lived alone, was found in a disorderly state with her purse, personal belongings, bank cards, car keys and RM600 in cash left behind.
It was also reported that Zalina’s neighbours did not see her at the house over the past few years, claiming that she did not mingle with anyone within the area. A search of the vicinity around the house revealed that it was abandoned, with the building works of a fence still unfinished.
Authorities have asked individuals who may have information regarding the missing reporter to contact the Investigating Officer Sergeant Sabturia Lorong or Shah Alam Section 6 Police Station at 03-5519 4622.