'We just want to give her a good home'
CLARIFY: Mr Yap Yeen Min, who acted as a mediator between the couple and Angie's relatives. Also at the press conference were Mrs Cannie Wong (right) and her mother-in-law. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS
The couple involved in the controversial adoption of the two-year-old girl, Angie Tiong, clarified that they only wanted to give her "a good and complete home".
Mrs Cannie Wong, a Singaporean in her 40s, said she was shocked to read newspaper reports about the girl's father telling the police that his daughter had been kidnapped.
"Before adopting her, we knew that she came from a broken home and were aware of her father's situation, so we felt a greater urge to take her in," Mrs Wong told a press conference held in Johor yesterday.
"The legal adoption process in Malaysia had been done and we did not have any ill intentions.
"We just wanted to give her a wholesome and good environment to grow up in."
Mrs Wong said she and her Malaysian husband, who is a Singapore PR, have a son and wanted a daughter, so they looked for a girl to adopt.
But after giving his daughter up for adoption, the father claimed she had been kidnapped by a friend.
Angie's plight was widely reported by the media after her father reported her missing last month.
Johor police have since said that the kidnapping claim is a misunderstanding and they have closed the case.
Mrs Wong said: "The middleman said Angie's father had debts and hoped we could help. So we gave sort of a token sum."
She and her husband gave the father a RM12,000 (S$3,940) "hongbao".
Angie's father was accused by relatives of "selling" Angie after he took her away from her Johor Baru home on Nov 9 last year.
The relatives lodged a police report last month.
Malaysian newspapers said that Angie's mother is a Vietnamese who abandoned Angie when she was a baby.
Mrs Wong said she was shocked when her friend showed her the newspaper reports about Angie's disappearance.
"I didn't know her family was that complicated.
"My intentions were purely to adopt her and provide her with a good family," she said.
The Wongs completed the adoption process in Malaysia through a lawyer.
They had planned to begin the adoption process in Singapore, but the news of Angie's disappearance broke barely two weeks later.