Journal Entries of 37-Days Detention (Part 2)
Journal entries for day 8 – 07.03.2018 (Wednesday)
This is a Part 2 continuation of Journal entries of 37-days detention Part 1 in Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot.
Of the total 37-days detention, 27 days was in Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot. Then the next 3 days was in Kluang prison and the last 10 days in Pekan Nanas Depot again.
First visitation from my wife
According to the diary’s account:
QUOTE: “It was raining that day. We drove (my wife) to Pekan Nanas Detention Centre to visit (me).
Finished the visit at 1700hours.
Also contacted Embassy officer to obtain more information about (me) case and any possible charges.
1845hrs Fixed appointment to meet (acquaintance) for breakfast on Thursday, 8 March, 2018.” UNQUOTE
Journal entries for day 9 – 08.03.2018 (Thursday)
Having found myself in such dire circumstances, I spend time to pray and start to fast a couple of days for divine help to see me through these evil days.
According to the diary’s account:
QUOTE: “0730 hrs My family members met (acquaintance) at GelangPatah for breakfast.
(Acquaintance) updated us that he managed to get an authorisation letter from IO to visit (me) the next day, which is on 9 March 2018.
(Acquaintance) also mentioned that he had gave a statement to the IO to testify on (me) Personal Character – (me) is a good character person and he opened the house at GelangPatah for old folks and the homeless.
He also said that he met Mr. P Singh who was willing to help (me). Mr. P Singh appeared to be a very religious person and a kind officer, who said that he always goes to the temple.” UNQUOTE
Free time segment
Outside of these two particular notable routines of roll calls and Muslim prayer time in the daily time table, the rest of the time is for the four meal breaks and our own activities (free time segment).
These free time segment will see some occasional incidents that will break the monotony of the daily routine. Such incidents usually start by fierce, aggressive arguments and fight challenges between individuals. A couple of such arguments leads to real open fights, gang fights and lastly, guards beating up a detainee within the cell and outside the cell.
In such an environment of many impulsive, unthinking and aggressive males, there are quite a few such fights and usually involves the alpha male types.
On this day there was a big fight that broke out between a few Indonesia nationals against Bangladesh nationals worth recorded in my journal entries.
The make-up of detainees in Pekan Nanas consisted of many Indonesia national illegals during my detention. They were quietly territorial as well as being a tightly-knitted group of daring fighters.
Because of the cultural similarities, they blend in well with the Malaysian Malay.
They usually do not have valid immigration documents or were using fake ID documents.
The fight story
Apart from a big number of Indonesia national detainees, there is also a sizeable number of Bangladesh national detainees. Within these two groups, there are a few who likes to street fight because they grew up in such environment. Both groups have individuals who are fierce, fighters background and outspoken but more on the side of the Indonesians. The Indonesia side often challenged and questioned the checker and his supporter’s certain decisions.
One of the checker’s supporters is a Bangladesh national but there was no Indonesian-national. So the Indonesian-national group was not happy that there was no Indonesia-national checker’s supporters.
Because supporters enjoyed certain privileges, some would vie to be the checker’s supporters. Apart from enjoying privileges, these supporters also give favors to their own nationality group. Hence there is resentment from unhappy campers when there is no supporter from certain nationality group.
In this kind of cramped, crowded and hostile environment, people’s tempers tends to be short-fused and ignited easily. On top of that, supporters need to be loud mouthed. They also act mafia and behaved macho to be able to control the detainees.
The reason why the fight started
One fine day, this resentment boils over to an argument over privileges enjoyed by Bangladeshi-national checker’s supporter. The total dissatisfaction by a couple of Indonesians with the Bangladeshi supporter breaks the monotone of the daily routine and fighting occurs.
The angry Indonesian and his friend started to attack the Bangladeshi. It then snowballed into many Bangladeshis entering the fight to help their Bangladeshi friend. Soon the fight expanded and involves many Indonesians fighting with as many Bangladeshi fighters.
The whole place soon turns into a mayhem with the fight raging as bystanders moved away to avoid the fighters. Fists and kicks were flying all over the place for a good while. These Indonesians are fierce fighters and many of them joined the fight. That leads to more of the Bangladeshi nationals to help their fighting friends.
A squad of guards entered to break up the fight
They have assembled a squad of guards outside and rushed in with their batons once the gate opened. And they started beating those involved in the fight before the fight broke up.
During such fighting involving many fighters, innocent bystanders could be beaten by mistake. Some could ended up as witness to snitches and takes side.
The danger that I faced is the possibility that the officer MZ could have planted someone inside to attack me. This fight would provide an opportunity as cover to carry out the attack.
As usually happened, the guards were shouting, questioning the checker and the main persons who started the fight. The guards decided that their best course of action is to punish those involved. These are the ones who start the fight.
Witnessing this visual “lesson”
We witnessed the guards beating up the detainees outside. This is the guards’ visual “lesson” to teach detainees that they will not tolerate anyone creating any disorder inside the cell.
The guards were sending a message that this was the consequences for fighting. Even though the guards punished those fighting there were still fights occurring thereafter.
This was the first fight that I witnessed. I have included this incident in my court documents.
Journal entries for day 10 – 09.03.2018 (Friday)
Surprise visitation of unwanted visitor
I was in isolation for a week already and not able to talk to anyone. But today I got a surprise visitation from an acquaintance, JM.
According to his account, he went to Setia Tropika to give his statement and testimony to Mr. P Singh about my character and charity work.
JM was somehow convinced and believed that Mr P and Mr H are kind, nice and helpful officer trying to help me. They will recommend someone who can help me rather than engaging lawyers. He informed me that he will be talking to my family to help me come out.
Apparently from the diary account, he had already met with my family to propose paying a fixer (middleman between my family and corrupt Immigration officers) with bribe money to get me out of this situation.
He was saying that he is helping me and seeking my permission for my family to go ahead and used bribes instead of lawyers to help me get out.
My family and extended family members have a crisis meeting. They knew this officer was setting a trap for me to sink into a deeper hole. They were fully aware of officer MZ and his lover’s plot to make sure that I will be jailed as part of their retaliation plan.
My family rejected offering money as part of a deal for my release will be recorded in this journal of entries.
About scams and bribes for release
On the 28.02.2018, two Nepal nationals were arrested and detained together with me. However on the 26.03.2018, they were not charged together with me. This confirmed what they had told me that they had valid work permits.
These two Nepalese were employed by a security company providing security guard services for an American multi-national company that I have worked for many years.
This MNC Company requires contractor to be audited to ensure that they must meet stringent professional requirements. So all security guards supplied to this MNC must be locals or foreigners with valid work permits.
According to both of them, they had each paid RM6,000 to an employment agency to obtain their work permits. At the point of arrest, their documentation was with their company.
According to their account, they had been informed by their boss that they will be released after our case concluded on the 26.02.2018.
Nasty turn of event after payment
After I was transferred from Kluang prison back to Pekan Nanas, I was surprised to see them still around.
According to their account, their boss had made some payments requested by Immigration but was told to make more payment.
I hears this same story told by many detainees. Every detainee’s hope that their company would redeemed them so that they can get out from this inhumane place. Then they would be able to continue working and earning in Malaysia.
Their boss refused to make any additional payment and they are now waiting for repatriation back to Nepal. We do not know how much had already been paid by their boss and how much more were demanded. But we can guess that it must be quite a sum that the boss have no choice but to send both of them back to Nepal. This information was relayed to them from their boss.
These two Nepalese are real life cases that I encountered that testified of detainees’ family or company bosses being scammed.
Their company boss after been scammed could only watch helplessly as his men were deprived of their legal rights to work having paid 6,000 ringgit to an agent for their work permit.
This journal of entries record that both were unjustly repatriated back to Nepal around second week of May 2018.
Journal entries for day 11 – 10.03.2018 (Saturday)
Continues to do days of fasting and praying to keep my spirit up and my sanity in the face of the constant harassments and intimidation from officer MZ always coming to my lock up cell hoping to create duress to me and maybe he could have an opportunity for a situation to attack me.
On this day I saw one group of 11 Bangladesh national migrant workers brought into the cell.
They are work permit holders workers who had completed two years contract with their previous contractor-employer.
One of them is Mr. M.N.U. (Body No. 2xx) who is the group’s representative as he could converse in English. Name and body ID is obscure to hide his identity.
They have each paid RM12,000 agency fee to their new employer for a two year contract. They have banded together as a group of workers to work on the construction of South Key Megamall Development. This is the Phase 1 Project around Feb 2018. They were informed by their company’s representative that their work permits would be processed.
This company that they worked for is a big Sdn Bhd that is an incorporated local contractor company working on a mega construction project.
While they were working at their construction site, Immigration officers raided the site. The immigration officers arrested and brought them to Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot for detention.
There are stories that such raids are usually based on information from collaborator-informers to the Immigration department.
Now they ended up detained inside Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot, in fear of losing their RM12,000 agency fee paid as well as deportation and blacklisted from entering Malaysia.
Despair and despondency
I just prayed for them that they will not lose their RM12,000 for the work permit, be redeemed by their company, get released and return back to work.
Many of the detainees inside the detention center share their stories about paying redemption fee of thousands of ringgit per worker by companies or bosses.
They can only wait for news of their boss redeeming them out from this hellish place.
They could only wait and wait in despair for the hope that their company would redeemed them. Otherwise, they will languish inside as undocumented migrants and wait for repatriation which could take months.
It was ten days of life in hell and a possible nightmare for them and their families if deported. Their company had redeemed their freedom after ten days. Was there payment made we do not know.
Immigration finally released them around the second last week of March, on 20.03.2018 (Tuesday), the day of the week for release of detainees. We were all happy for them on the day of release.
Journal entries for day 12 – 11.03.2018 (Sunday)
Daily routine for roll call within each day
One of the important rituals that is part of the daily routine throughout each day is the 3-hourly roll call event. This roll call is for reporting the number of detainees in every cell within the entire detention center to their central command. This is for them to account for every movement of detainees and their whereabouts throughout the day.
For the roll call, the center siren would go off and every detainee would scramble into position in rows of 10 detainees breadth-wise, all the way length-wise to the back of the cell. If you are halfway enjoying your shower or doing your bowel movement, you have to get out of your act and scramble to fill out the empty places. There will be no movement by anyone and all heads must look down.
There was one particular roll call timing around dinner time. Depending on when the food delivery lorry arrives, this dinner event can be a bit of crazy. When the food arrives late, the timing to eat the dinner, wash up the food tray and clean the floor up is crazy. It is crazy because we have to be in position when the siren sounds for the roll call.
Checker’s role during roll call
The checker’s role is to report the number of detainees to the duty guard. He and his assistants (supporters) would threaten punishment on anyone not complying or not ready in position for the roll call.
In every cell, all the checkers will be waiting for the duty guard to visit the cell before ordering the whole cell to greet this guard loudly. The checker will report the number of detainees and the guard will count numbers by the rows as he inspects the detainees.
The usual time to complete a roll call is around 15 – 20 minutes for all the blocks to report their numbers to their central command. During any roll call, if an officer is not happy with the roll call, he will ordered punishment on the whole group.
During a roll call on this night, officer MZ singled me out for having moved. We were punished by officer MZ with remaining in the same position for additional 30 minutes with no movement.
This was officer MZ directly targeting me. It is to let everyone be aware that he has marked me so that no one would tries to help me. As he pretended to walk away to inspect other cells, he instigated the duty guard to teach me a painful lesson. This guard unlocks the metal gate, comes in and angrily accuses me of creating troubles.
Knowing that he was instigating for a reaction from me that would justifies him to slap or beat me up, I answer in very soft tone, “Sir, please give chance” a few times. The bible teaches that a soft answer turns away wrath. So with that, an unseen angel had helped me avert the evil from officer MZ.
Journal entries for day 13 – 12.03.2018 (Monday)
According to the diary’s account:
QUOTE “1030 hrs – Drove to City Square Mall to Singapore Embassy to obtain the list of solicitors in JB.
Obtained the list from the Embassy staff.
1200 hrs – At the same time, we visited CST (office is also located in City Square Mall).
Met with solicitor CST. However, CST informed that he does not go to the court. He does only conveyance.
Solicitor CST then refer us to another solicitor, Mr HKY. We google for Y’s address. Address is in Larkin area.
1530 hrs – We found the office and contacted Solicitor Y. We met him in his office at 1530 hrs.
Solicitor Y informed that he handles mostly capital sentences and drug offences. Nevertheless, he can together with another senior Solicitor Haji N to undertake (my) case.” UNQUOTE
My wife signed the Authority to Act on this day for lawyer HKY and engaged him to to act on my behalf.
Though my family had engaged a lawyer to act for me, this provide no change in my circumstances or any tangible help until 21.03.2018. After nine days later, the Immigration Investigating officer allows him to visit me. This is an unbelievable abuse of human rights just because I was locked up on foreign soil with no one to turn to.
Journal entries for day 14 – 13.03.2018 (Tuesday)
I do not know whether I was allowed visitors or not. Only after I found out from the diary account that I knew I was allowed one visitor and only family member are allowed to visit once a week:
QUOTE: “After lunch, we went to Setia Tropika on the 14th day to enquire and found out that only one visit was allowed and family member was only allowed.” UNQUOTE
Arrested together with me was three Indian national who had overstayed their social visa by few days. Most the time, I stayed close to one of them who speaks English quite well. He is from the state of Punjab, India.
With these three India nationals and three Nepal nationals around me, they help me watch my back against the officer MZ and from any detainees giving me troubles. In fact this India national from Punjab saw officer MZ video recording me with his hand phone while I was sleeping but quickly hides his action when he realized this Indian friend saw his action.
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