Saturday, June 18, 2011

Singaporeans In Johor Bahru

Let Suhakam Head Nude Squat Probe 
Patrick Lee 

In another development, two Immigration officials in Johor have been temporarily suspended pending an inquiry into the incident.
KUALA LUMPUR: An inquiry into the Singaporean nude squats should be chaired by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

In a letter to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, three MPs said the inquiry should also comprise Bar Council representatives and MPs, as opposed only to departments under the control of the Home Ministry.

The letter was inked by Independent Tawau MP Chua Soon Bui, DAP-Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him and DAP-Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan.

“We have come up with this suggestion because we are of the opinion that the accusation involving these two women is very serious.

“An inquiry comprising Suhakam representatives, Bar Council and MPs will give the public confidence that the investigation is free, fair, transparent and without favour,” they said.

Such an investigation, the MPs added, would maintain good relations between Malaysia and Singapore.

According to a report by the Singapore Straits Times, two Singaporean women in Johor Baru were interrogated by Immigration Department officers before being thrown behind bars.

The duo were then allegedly stripped and forced to perform nude squats. They had since returned to Singapore and vowed never to return to Malaysia.

Following this, the Home Ministry launched an inquiry comprising immigration officials, the police and prison authorities.

According to Bernama, the inquiry would be chaired by the Immigration Department Deputy Director-General Raja Mohd Raja Ismail.

Sim however felt that the decision to appoint Raja Mohd as the head did not reflect the seriousness of the situation.

“This is a serious matter. This not only affects bilateral relations between Malaysia and Singapore, but we have to show to the world that we have intergrity,” he said.

While he thanked Hishammuddin for taking action, Sim however said that a “low-level committee” headed by Raja Mohd was not enough.

The MPs also felt that Immigration Director-General Alias Ahmad’s earlier statement had compromised the upcoming inquiry.

According to a news report, Alias said that a full body check was part of the immigration detention depot’s standing operating procedure. 

Two officers suspended

Meanwhile in another development, Alias revealed today that two Immigration officials in Johor have been temporarily suspended pending an inquiry into the nude squat incident.

A report in the Star stated that the decision was made by the inquiry committee.

“Investigations into the incident started on Thursday and will continue for the next one week,” he was quoted as saying.

He added that the officers have been temporarily suspended until they determine whether the incident was true or not.

“Other than that, we will also be looking on how we can improve on the current standard operating procedures if needed,” he said.

Source: Free Malaysia Today - June 17, 2011


Arrest Of Singaporean Women At Johor Bahru Lawful

The arrests of two Singaporean women at the Sultan Iskandar Immigration check-point in Johor Baharu on June 9 was done according to the law, said Immigration director-general, Alias Ahmad.

He said the women were detained under Section 6(3) of the Immigration Act for attempting to exit the country illegally.

“They were detained by immigration officers on duty at the check-out counter for not having any visit pass or valid entry stamp on their passports,” he said this in a statement today.

He was responding to a posting in MalaysiaKini.Com today which quoted a report by Singapore daily, Lianhe ZaoBao, as saying that the detention of the two women was unlawful.

Alias said that the claim by the two women that there was no supervising officers at the check-in counter to stamp their passports when they came into the country the same day, was not true.

Their passports showed that they had previously entered the country on July 31 2010 and April 6 2010, respectively, he added.

Alias said the investigation papers on the case were referred to the public prosecutor’ office which ordered their deportation the same day. - Bernama

Source: Komuniti Kini - Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Illegal Entry
Translated by Soong Phui Jee

The Immigration's attitude deserves recognition as it has carried out an investigation over the nude squat incident involving two Singaporean women.

Immigration director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said that the arrests of the two Singaporean women were done according to the law as they had entered the country illegally.

It is indeed true.

Even the women had admitted that they had entered the country without getting their passports stamped. Undoubtedly, it was an legitimate detention since they had entered the country illegally.

However, it is not the point. The immigration investigation has actually missed two important parts.
  1. Under what kind of circumstances did the women enter the country illegally?
  2. Is nude squat legitimate and necessary?
The first question is indeed more important than the second.

I mean, illegal entry is a serious offence. It might be a problem and responsibility of the women or the Immigration.

For example, the women did not sneak into Johor Baru neither by digging a secret tunnel nor swimming across the Strait of Johor.

If they deliberately entered the country illegally, they should not only be detained, but must be prosecuted.

According to the women, they had accidentally entered Johor Baru without getting their passports stamped by driving through an unmanned immigration lane as they thought the biometric fingerprint scanning system has started been implemented.

However, they felt wrong half an hour later and decided to turn back and admit their mistake to officials. Only then, they realised that they had actually entered the country illegally.

It is weird to have an unmanned immigration lane. Moreover, isn't it absurd since the Malaysia-Singapore border is only about a hundred meter long instead of over a thousand miles like the US-Mexico border?

Of course, we must not blindly listen to only what the women said. Therefore, the Immigration must investigate into the incident properly and find out whether they were telling the truth.

The investigation should not be a difficult task. The immigration checkpoints should have a closed circuit television (CCTV) recorders and all they need to do is just replay the tapes.

Or, if the women entered by force, they should have activated the security alarm. There should be a record of it.

Since the Immigration checkpoints play an important role in guarding the country, not only the alarm should be activated, but a heavily armed force, a group of police officers and a helicopter should also be alarmed. They should rushed out and surround the intruders to defend our sacred territory.

However, please don't tell us that there is no CCTV recorder at the immigration checkpoints, nor a security system, not to mention armed forces, police officers and a helicopter.

Is Malaysia so lagging behind? Isn't the checkpoints have just been renovated?

At least, if we follow the standard of 50 years ago, there should be Immigration officers performing their duties at the immigration lanes, right?

The women had indeed entered the country illegally, been detained and asked to perform nude squats. But how about the management of the immigration and accountability of the officers?

Source: My Sin Chew - June 17, 2011