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Picture by Halimaton Saadiah Sulaiman

Emma Maembong, who stars in Nasi Minyak Kuah Cinta, tells Tahir Alhamzah about the heart-wrenching moments when she found out about the brutal attack on her father

WHEN Emma Maembong’s father was attacked during a robbery at home last month, she realised the importance to love our parents unconditionally and do not take them for granted.

“When I was informed of the attack, my heart skipped more than several beats. I left the shooting location immediately and headed for the hospital. I was too scared to think of what would be his fate. I was numbed. Until I arrived at the hospital, I had no idea of the severity of his condition,” recalls Emma, 24.

“The incident has made me realise we must never take the people we love for granted, especially our parents. I could not imagine the trauma and pain he had had to endure.”

She is now taking care of her father, Ismail Embong, while he recuperates. The artist was attacked at his home in the Gabungan Persatuan Penulis Nasional Malaysia building in Jalan Bukit Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, last month. Two robbers slashed Ismail, 68, with a parang, injuring his head, elbow and finger. The robbers got away with his laptop, wallet and a handphone.

According to Emma, the incident happened at 5pm. Ismail had just returned home and was spending the afternoon painting. However, he did not close the front door, making it easy for the robbers to gain entry into the house.

Emma says: “This should serve as a reminder to everyone that we must always take precautions even when we’re inside the compound of our house. Lock all doors and the gate, even in the daytime. My father was attacked in broad daylight. Day or night, we must think of our safety first.”

During the time, Emma was at work, filming drama series Nasi Minyak Kuah Cinta in which she plays the leading role, alongside actors Nazrief Nazri, Shah Jaszle and Aishah Ilias. The drama is slated to air on TV3 next month.

Emma plays Rosmia, a girl who moves to the city to work as a reporter. In the course of her work, she meets a doctor (Shah Jaszle) and the two fall in love.

Meanwhile, her colleague (Nazrief), whom she dislikes very much, begins to show interest in her, especially after they are paired together to hunt for news.

“Although I’ve met Nazrief before, this is our first time working together. I hope there’ll be chemistry between us on the set, so that it’ll be easy for us to play our characters convincingly,” she says.

Shooting for the drama had just started when Ismail was attacked.

“I had to take a few days off to attend to my father,” says Emma. She and her eldest sister, Coddy, take turns to care for Ismail.

Emma is thankful that she is currently involved in only one production as this allows her to juggle her acting schedules and caring for her father.

“It’s not my style to take more than one job at a time, anyway. Imagine if I had taken more, I don’t know who would be able to help my sister. It’s also fortunate that she has her own business, so she and I can come to an easy arrangement,” she says.

When Emma returns home every night, it is her job to ensure that Ismail takes his dinner and medications.

Meanwhile, when asked to comment on rumours that her relationship with actor Kamal Adli has ended, She refuses to comment. However, she later says it cannot be called a break-up when they aren’t an item in the first place.

“Yes, we’re friends. But there’s nothing more than that. We’re still at the stage of getting to know each other,” she says. “In fact, we just had dinner together recently. Then again, the dinner was just a meal that two friends would have from time to time.”

However, Emma says that if it is fated that they are meant for each other in future, who is she to deny that?

“It is definitely not now. Let us get to know each other better and then see if there’s really something more between us. For now, my priority is my father, so not for another one or two years,” she says.

Well, it looks like marriage is not on the cards for Emma, at least not for now.