Journal Entries of 37-days Detention (Part 3)
Journal Entries For Day 15 – 14.03.2018 (Wednesday)
This is a Part 3 continuation of Journal entries of 37-days detention Part 2 in Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot.
From very early in my detention, I decided that this was going to be a huge spiritual attack on me. I decided to fast and pray regularly to be able to weather this spiritual attack.
From a one-day fast and pray, it then allows me to fast more and more days progressively. As the days get nearer to the court date, I seriously set to do a ten-days fasting for divine help. So today is the start of many days fasting without food throughout this period (except for a day where I felt unwell). The outcome was a last-minute change of the Magistrate and a most lenient sentence.
Journal entries of second visitation from wife
On this 15th day my wife came to visit me to bring me some clothes and personal hygiene stuffs for me to use as we are provided none of these. She was accompanied by her older brother because she cannot drives and is only conversant in Chinese language only. All these items are a big relief to me after going through 14 days of inhumane conditions. No wonder Immigration has to shroud the whole depot in secrecy away from public eyes. And the irony of it is that they are giving speech and lecturing other countries on human rights at the UN.
According to the dairy’s account:
QUOTE: “1000 hrs – Arrived at Pekan Nanas Detention Centre. No haversack. Ladies’ handbag is allowed. Switch off handphone.
(wife’s brother) managed to get (me)’s pouch which contain all the houses’ accesses cards and keys from one of the immigration officer in the meeting hall. No money in (me)’s pouch.
While we were leaving, we met (sister to officer MZ’s girlfriend). (sister to officer MZ’s girlfriend) came forward to our car to talk to (wife). (sister to officer MZ’s girlfriend) informed (wife) that she is visiting her boyfriend who is also inside Pekan Nanas, the same day (me) was remanded. Her boyfriend has no valid documentation. (sister to officer MZ’s girlfriend) subsequently also saw (her sister) at the entrance of Pekan Nanas.” UNQUOTE
Journal entries of Nepalese detainee’s predicament
The account by sister to officer MZ’s girlfriend regarding his Nepalese boyfriend contradicts the official Immigration account. Immigration did not charge him with any Immigration offence i.e. meaning the he had work permit but yet they repatriated him. This seems to support the rumour that there can be a back door deal for work permit.
According to the Nepalese boyfriend account, his boss had paid a sum to officer MZ‘s girlfriend. He himself through his girlfriend also paid to officer MZ. He was cursing officer MZ for deceiving him to spends thousands of ringgits for nothing.
That was how he ended up being scammed, deported and blacklisted to neutralize him from being a witness.
Journal Entries For Day 16 –15.3.2018 (Thursday)
About Kawasan (detainee-cum-runner)
In this detention depot, there are a small group of detainees wearing the “kawasan” tee-shirts. It identifies them as detainee-cum-runner that were selected to run errands for the immigration officers and guards.
As such, they enjoyed some privileges such as the freedom to be outside of the cell during certain times. They gets cuts from deal through acting as intermediary between officers and the detainees for making such deals. There is this deal for a 3 minute phone call @ RM100 per call using the officer’s mobile. They also arranged deal like buying washing powder, soap, toothpaste etc. from the officers.
They are also messengers for officers as well as passing on information to the detainees since they are also one of the detainees.
About Checker and supporters
There is a detainee who is the dominant figure in the whole detention cell who is the checker.
His role is to pass information to detainee or any announcement from Immigration. Usually such announcement is for calling out detainees body number. Detainees are called out by their body number identification whenever they are required by Immigration officer’s specific purpose or reason.
He is also the person that a detainee will approach if the detainee wants to pass a message or request to the Immigration officer. That makes him the perfect person as intermediaries for any private transactions between officer and detainee to cut deals. As the person in charge, he enjoys privileges, direct access and the support of Immigration officers.
One of his main duties is to maintain the discipline over detainees and orderliness within the cell. During every roll call, his duty is to report the number of detainees within the cell to the officer and ensure all detainees are accounted for.
The checker is assisted by a few supporters and he assigned their duties. They are the mouthpiece, the hands and legs for the checker. They assist the checker to maintain the discipline over detainees, do translation when necessary and perform certain duties.
Their duties include collection of meal rations from outside and to assist to distribute to the detainees in orderly manner. They also bring the detainees laundry for drying outside and to collect in and return to detainee after drying. For their work, they enjoy privileges like more sleeping space on the platform, extra cloth blankets, extra meal rations, able to go outside of the cell and other little extras.
Journal Entries For Day 17 –16.3.2018 (Friday)
Journal entries of attack on Indonesia-national detainee
Supposedly when you packed large number of foreign migrant workers of different nationalities and cultures together into small cell like caged animals, what would one expects to see?
We will most likely see people who are distressed and disillusioned. In such small cell space, there is no freedom of movement other than within the four walls. And imagine doing this for extended period of months and even years.
Then you also add in inhumane and cruel conditions, dirty and unhealthy environment into the mix. We would expect that this would makes these people feels very bitter, resentful with deeply suppressed anger, frustrations and loss of their normal sense of decency/human nature.
Adding to this mix, you put violent and egoistic guards armed with beating batons. You select guards who like threatening and violence and set these guards over them 24/7, guess what will you get?
You either get very docile people or you get a super resistance freedom fighter. And many Pekan Nanas detainees did indeed witnessed one from among them a super resistance freedom fighter on this day.
A folklore story from Pekan Nanas
This story is one story that would makes for a folklore story to tell any audiences seeking to hear folklore story of heroic acts against vile and despicable people. The Immigration guards were vile and despicable because they have proved through their actions and witnessed publicly by many detainees.
It is said that under extraordinary circumstances will produce a man of the moment. Treacherous circumstances may make or break a man but an exceptional man will never surrender under all circumstances.
This man that is the subject of this folklore story is a fierce freedom fighter of Indonesia nationality. Because of his loss of his God-given freedom, he appears a deeply agitated and mentally disturbed person.
Judging from what can be seen as described in later section, this man is deeply displease over his loss of freedom. And judging from his responses to the guards throughout the story, he viewed these guards as weak cowards. He shows much contempt and despises those guards for their mockery and making sport of him. Indeed the guards had displayed egregious behavior by doing a perverse sexual act, as detailed below, on him publicly to deserve his contempt.
Backdrop setting to story
Detained within the four walls of our Pekan Nanas cell are hundred plus people of various nationalities, cultures and characters. Everyone detained together here were not by our own will but because of so-called “claims” that we had violated Malaysia immigration laws.
Every one of us detainees does not know each other background, what happened in each lives, each family’s background and so forth. We were all total strangers to one another while here together. Also everyone generally minds their own business.
In such a toxic and oppressive environment, fights and violence are common occurrences. This is because of the tight confined spaces, unsatisfactory living conditions, and loss of all freedom. The foods were tasteless with little nutrients and just enough for sustenance. We are of different nationalities and so there are tribal tendencies. Hence most congregate according to their nationality. And amongst us is much alpha-male type asserting themselves through fights.
Of the many fights and other violence witnessed within the cell, there is one particular fight that needs a special mention. This fight is the only fight that involved a lone fighter, albeit fighting for freedom.
He basically stood tall in his fight for his lost freedom with the Pekan Nanas Immigration guards. His story is one of a man who is tough as a nail, extraordinary strong, unbelievably unbending and unyielding to the end. He earned the respect of all those detainees who witnessed this fight as you continue reading on to understand why.
Loss of priceless freedom
Most of the days, detainees would look out to the open field and the world outside of the cell. The outside world as seen from the caged environment is a serene peaceful landscape with an idyllic lure. The wooded landscape with spatters of huts is familiar surroundings as the villages that they hailed from.
With so little activities, it is a blissful beautiful picture of how nice life would be out there instead of being locked inside this horrible cell.
They would yearn to be out there as they miss the freedom of seeing their loved ones. How they do wish that their hours are spend roaming the streets, savoring some good dishes or hanging out with friends. They could gather with friends in the restaurants for their food or in coffee shop to engage in idle talk.
It is a picture of a bird missing the freedom to be able to be flying everywhere in a vast space of the air freely and without a care.
In here we could only be sports for the Immigration guards that held powers over us. Occasionally the kawasans would do the bidding of the guards and caused troubles to us.
Some of the days, the afternoon and evening could be so uneventful, boring and mundane that they would conjure entertainment from those who are in their power. There is this one particular person that fits their bill.
How this started
There is this detainee that was locked in a separate isolation cell. He was of about five feet five inches of height and of average muscular build. He looks to be of very firm muscles and stout with a typical Indonesian construction worker.
Time passes very slowly in this kind of detention with little activities. In his isolation cell he was apparently very agitated, restless and craving for relief of some real serious unhappiness. So to gets his relief, he would be calling for the guard’s attention most of the times. Sometimes the guards would force him to sing certain songs or do certain activities for entertainment and sport. We had no idea for whatever reason that he was put in this separate isolation cell.
He hates his isolation
Throughout the day, he is always making loud noises, banging on the steel gate and all the loud noises can be heard up to the wee morning hour when we were all asleep. Our sleeps were disturbed by this entire din.
Sometimes he would be in seemingly good mood and will be singing to himself his Indonesian folklore songs. You can tell his good mood from his singing tune.
We have heard a few different folklore songs and these songs have melancholic tunes. The melancholic tunes would bring listeners to his inner world of how much he misses his home, village and community back in his country. Many were quite impressed with his singing talent and do enjoyed the songs as entertainment.
These kinds of antics and rebelling for his freedom were happening on a daily basis for days. In addition he would sometimes be throwing his food all over the place as a form of protest against any retaliation by anyone on him. In this cell he was given containers for his private business but instead of using this containers he would messed it on the floor whereby Kawasan would then be going inside to clean up whatever mess.
Transfer back from the isolation room
After about a week or so, he was transferred to the same cell as ours. Obviously many of us were apprehensive and worried about our safety with him in the midst of us. The Indonesians among us banded together around him to watch over him and prevent any incident breaking out.
Though he was calm generally, he could also be triggered easily into some violent behavior out of the blues. It is appears that the loss of freedom for him has something to do with his uncontrollable behavior.
Truly as expected, just after one uneventful day of calm before things went out of control with his erratic behavior.
Prelude to violence on the Indonesian detainee
During one of the day at around late morning, this freedom fighter started hitting someone out of the blue. Though the person moved away, he then started stomping on the wooden planks, metal grille and the metal gate with unbelievable strength. As his friends tried to calm him and restrain him as much as they can, he would even hit them with no hesitation. This is the same kind of behavior that he was exhibiting as he usually does in the isolation room. We did wonder why the guards put him in our cell knowing his deep dissatisfaction about his detention with a propensity to create mayhem.
As he slips into his agitated trance-like state, he created more chaos with his wild antics and methods of protest. The whole cell soon seemed unsafe for all the detainees locked within.
After twenty to thirty minutes, the place became a chaotic scene and that brought a few of the guards to enter the cell to control the situation. Even when the guards were coming at him, he did not stop despite all the restraining by his friends. He was struggling and fighting like a fish out of the water to be in the water again for its life.
This provokes the guards to raise the alarm for more reinforcement guards to enter into the fracas. Some of the reinforcement guards started beating the guts out of this freedom fighter. They were raining fist blows to his head and beating batons to other body areas. These guards wanted to display to all the detainees witnessing what would be the outcome for any resistance by any detainee.
A violent assault on the Indonesian detainee
With the assistance of a squad of guards, they then moved him outside for a display of what they will do to subjugate any resistance and break down the will of any freedom fighter.
They tied his hands round a lighting post at the concrete staging area. This was in our direct line of sight about six meters away. They then assaulted him brutally while he was without the ability to defend or retaliate. However he did not flinch nor beg for mercies. The guards used their fists, hard objects and whatever they had in their arsenal to inflict torture.
There were more guards that came and join in or take turns to attack him for quite a while. The gang of guards was totally furious at his resistance holding up despite so much pain inflicted on him.
We were stunned that he was exceptionally strong, fearless and a super high threshold of withstanding pain or immune to pain.
All of these actions were going on under the hot afternoon sun. Different guards and officers came to join in and get into some action on this freedom fighter who will never bow to their will.
To my logical mind, I could only speculate that he could either be “possessed by supernatural forces” or he had practiced some sort of dark art of self-defense skill.
Journal entries of perverse sexual act attack on detainee
Just like a school of piranhas in a feeding frenzy, the guards turn to more extreme measures of subjugation.
They removed his underpants and force him to masturbate in full sight of everyone under the hot sun.
Someone then use a phone camera to do a video recording as in like shooting a TV production movie. They were recording the most disgusting part of the sexual act, together with his face captured in full view shown in the video.
Why were they doing such disgusting and perverse acts? Are they planning to load this video on YouTube for monetizing? Is it for selling this video on the black market or is it for public shaming?
What are they trying to achieve with this video recording of this gang-violation of this man’s dignity? Were the families of these guards proud of their action?
Others who lost their freedom without cause
If I were to choose an image to portray of what the Malaysia Pekan Nanas Immigration officers look like, the image of this group of immigration officers will be the one.
They represent one of the worse of human nature for their perverse act upon this freedom fighter.
Detained within the Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot are people representing the nationalities of Malaysia neighboring countries? Indeed the officers and guards who were involved in the gang-violation of this freedom fighter’s dignity are firstly, beasts and cowards.
They can be described as such through their behavior and actions that were put on full display before all the detainees witnessing it.
It must be added that not everyone locked behind the caged walls of Pekan Nanas are people who were there because they deserved to be in there. These could be people who had their freedom taken away from them through some false charges.
These are innocent people who had to be subjected to all the uncivilized acts of barbaric guards such as what this freedom fighter were subjected to.
As for this Indonesia national detainee, whatever happened to him after what we had witnessed, we just do not know. May he be well and good?
Journal Entries For Day 18 – 17.3.2018 (Saturday)
Days are spent hearing stories from detainees of their predicaments. There is this Indian man who despite having completed his sentence was still in Pekan Nanas. He could not regain his freedom because he has no one to provide money for buying his air ticket so that he can be repatriated.
He was waiting for someone to send money as his family in India is too poor to give the money for his air ticket. As long as he is not able to have the money for the air ticket, he remains in detention.
While we were willing to raise the money for him as well as prayed for him, along came a Malaysian distant relative who provided for this ticket. This was quite a surprise that somehow this distant relative got the news of his predicament and helps him.
That was a happy ending for him after having waited for quite some time to regain his freedom.
Journal Entries For Day 19 – 18.3.2018 (Sunday)
On this morning, we witnessed an Indian detainee being taken outside to a staging area shed. The detainee is from a different cell and this staging area shed is directly in our line of sight. From our position we can see clearly as it is just outside after the grass patch. All the detainees witnessed this incident from our cell. This Indian detainee looks to be in a bad shape and seriously ill condition. He was vomiting and most likely also feeling nausea, giddy or breathing difficulty.
We saw that he looks like an Indian and we then confirmed with friendly kawasans that he was indeed an Indian national.
Guards not concern with detainees’ rights
A couple of guards were round about him probably to find out more from him on his sickness. They put him up lying on one of those tables that are around with his back facing up. This helps provides him relief and intermittent respite while the guards observed him for quite a while.
As he was lying there, the guards would occasionally check on him to see whether he was getting better. After quite some considerable time resting, it was observed that he was getting worse and needed medical attention.
But then the few guards would not bother with him as they were busy with their regular duties. Their regular duties is escorting detainees and maintaining orderly detainees’ movement. The guards will also be busy doing changing of shifts, handing and taking over of responsibilities. They were also busy doing the roll call checking whenever the important roll call is activated.
Faced the same experience from callous guards
I had experienced this kind of long waiting period myself as I seek treatment for a urinary tract viral infection problem on the morning of 1.4.2018. There was pain in the area of my bladder with a constant urge to go to the toilet to relieve. But there is very little urine and I kept getting the urge to relieve.
Because of the pain and discomfort, I wanted them to send me to the doctor as soon as possible. Around that time the guards were busy with batches of detainees and doing their records. They will be busy whenever there is detainees movements in or out from the cells while I fretted away in pain. The guard would ignore me and ordered me to wait. They would not bother about you because they are more concerned about their duties. These guards were following all the procedures strictly and performing their duties per this SOP. In my case, they make me wait till there is a guard available from their limited number of guards to escort me to the clinic.
Sent to the hospital of no return
So we saw that this Indian detainee was left there struggling and suffering while the few guards were busy with their duties. They were waiting for arrangement for an available guard to escort him. It is only after a long time in the late afternoon that he was sent to the hospital. By then his condition looks like it has gotten worse. As we watched him from our cell, we all knew that he was apparently in bad shape when he was sent to the hospital.
The detainee never returned back to the cell where he was locked up in and we heard from our friendly kawansans that he had died. The information was that he had died from rat urine poisoning.
Circumstantial actions by few parties to address this rat urine cause
What confirmed this news of rat urine poisoning is the fact that a senior Indian immigration officer was inspecting all the surrounding areas accompanied by his junior immigration officer the days after this incident. This junior officer is the officer who had been harassing me throughout my detention. They were identifying places with rubbish and unwanted junks. They were also identifying junks and unnecessary items lying around that needs to be cleared. There were housekeeping and cleaning throughout the whole detention center.
We also watched the junior officer was very busy ordering the kawasans with the clearing of rubbish, cleaning and washing up the surrounding areas. For the next few days we saw groups of visitors coming around to inspect the places to check here, there and the whole surrounding areas. We witnessed all these circumstantial actions performed by the few groups of people.
Related to this incident, days later we saw the water tank was flushed and cleaned with chemical. They were doing improvement to the standard of hygiene within the cell and part of journal entries record.
Collated information on this tragedy
Being a witness to this tragedy, the thing that I can do for this detainee and his family is to report on what detainees had witnessed openly. This is hoping that somehow this information would helps his family finds closure and seeks accountability. We can only hope that this information will find its way to the family in India someday.
I had also written to the Indian High Commissioner in KL to raise this to their attention and recorded in this journal entries.
Other witnesses to this tragedy are three other Indian detainees. Though they would like to help, they feared that bad things would be done to them if they get involved.
Like many other detainees, these Indian detainees come from very poor villages in India. And they ended up inside here because they were tricked by unscrupulous agents. They borrowed thousands of ringgits to pay these agents. The agent failed to honor their promise of securing proper work permit for them. They then disappeared and left these poor migrant workers in the lurch. So like the many others, they ended up languishing in the detention center. After that they returned home and ended up struggling with a debt burden.
This kind of incident should be of serious concern as it can happen to anyone. I am certainly concerned because it almost happened to me just as it had happened to the Indian detainee.
In my case, about four month’s time after released from immigration detention, I suffered a heart attack. I was then back in Singapore with the high standard of medical care. The Singapore hospital immediately and urgently provides medical attention unlike here in Pekan Nanas.
Journal Entries For Day 20 –19.3.2018 (Monday)
Fake information from Immigration officer
Totally unable to receive any information from anyone, every detainee relied on information from the Checker.
According to the Checker, the immigration officer had pass on information that today is the date of my trial. This was relayed days earlier from the Checker. I was also told that I would be charged under a more serious section of the Immigration Act under Section 56 (1)(d).
I waited for this event but the day come and went without me being brought before any immigration Magistrate for the journal entries record.
On the actual day of trial on 26.03.2018, my charge was different from the charge I was told here.
I noticed that this fake information was given before my family’s third visit. Is there a possibility that Immigration hoped that I would persuade my family to turn to other “avenue” of help rather than through a lawyer by their hint?
It was just a case of a scheming and lying Immigration officer giving out fake information to mislead and confuse me.
Journal Entries For Day 21–20.3.2018 (Tuesday)
Journal entries of Third Visitation by family
This visit is to brief me on what is happening outside and about the effort to have a lawyer to defend me.
Till today, I was not able to talk to a lawyer and it has been 21 days already.
It is a total helpless situation deliberately created by all the scheming Immigration officers. They never allowed access to a lawyer for 21 days. I was never brought before any magistrate since the day I was detained. There was total information blackout to me or to my family. If there is any information given by officer Mr P. Singh, it is actually fake information given to confuse and mislead. This is the record in this journal entries.
Journal entries of release of wrongful-detention Bangladesh nationals
On this day, a group consisting of 11 Bangladesh national migrant workers were being released from Pekan Nanas Detention Depot. They had been detained for ten days waiting for their company’s representative to redeem them out from Pekan Nanas.
One of them is Mx Nxxxx Uxxxx (body No. 2XX)
They were work permit holders workers who had finished two years with their previous contractor-employer. To secure new employment they each paid RM12,000 to their new employer for a two year contract.
They were shocked when they were arrested as they expect their company had obtained for them their work permit. They could not understand what the company has done and why the immigration department arrested them.
Name of Company: Txxx Cxxx Sdn Bhd
Office Tel: 016xxx3007
Note: They have the Southkey Megamall Development – Phase 1 Project Feb 2018
They were very happy walking out through the metal gate as we wished them all the best after going through such a terrible ordeal.
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