Journal Entries of 37-days Detention (Part 4)
Journal Entries For Day 22 – 21.03.2018 (Wednesday)
Journal entries of my lawyer’s account of access to me for discussion on this 22nd day of detention inside Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot:
QUOTE: “The I.O. was M. H. Bin K. He gave me a letter of no objection to me visiting you in the immigration depot at Pekan Nanas.
The letter was dated 21.3.2018 and my interview with you took place on the same day. I must have contacted him some time before that to obtain that letter.
Apart from dealing with access, it is never the prosecution’s practice to divulge any information regarding the case prior to trial.
Therefore, no information was given to me pertaining to facts of the case until you were formally charged in court on 26.3.2018.
You were arrested on 28.2.2018 at 11.05 p.m. You should have been brought before the immigration Magistrates’ Court the next day for remand order. It was located in the immigration depot. I am not sure whether such had been done as it was before my engagement.
With that letter of no objection which I presented at the immigration depot, I was then able to have access to you to have that first and only interview.
Access to you was therefore not denied but my complain was I was only allowed 1/2 hour to speak with you and under the watchful eye of an immigration officer who was sitting across the room.” UNQUOTELawyer’s account
Letter of approval to visit me from I.O.
Journal entries of no confidentiality on discussion
This is the one and only meeting I had with a lawyer today. We were only allowed thirty minutes for this meeting by the Immigration officer.
Immigration dictated that the meeting has to be conducted in a big open room with no privacy. Imagine meeting with your lawyer to discuss on how to defend your case and they overheard every single words you talked. So I guess this is the Malaysia lawyer-client discussion protocol for all Immigration cases directive to Immigration officers.
Throughout the meeting, they make sure there is an Immigration officer, Mr. P Singh watching us and listening in. Also in the room watching us was another three-pip Immigration officer from Setia Tropika Immigration HQ. This three-pip officer was the escort officer of Lawyer Y.
Immigration officer also assigned and stationed a guard in the room. He was standing watch with a big intimidating beating baton.
My lawyer lamented that the immigration officer, Mr P. Singh refused to tell him any information relating to my case. With zero information and unable to speak openly about the case, it was a fruitless and futile meeting under watch.
Likes to feed fake information
After the meeting with Lawyer Y and he left, Mr. P. Singh started chatting with me like a kind and helpful man. Instead he was actually feeding me some misinformation.
He was passing me misinformation about who were those without documentation as well as the number of people charged with me.
It was apparent that he was lying when I discovered the facts differed totally from what I was told on the day before the immigration Magistrate.
He claimed the fat Nepalese woman being charged was a legitimate worker who worked for a big local company in Gelang Patah. The company boss had came to redeem her out. Her friend, the small Nepalese woman was an illegal who ran away from her employer.
He also gave fake information that the number of illegal to be charged was five but instead turns up to be six. Such is the duplicity of this pretentious kind, helpful religious Sikh officer feeding many fake information to me.
Malaysian Bar Press Release
QUOTE:“At the remand hearing, the police sought a four–day remand order. However, this was only in respect of the allegation of obstruction of a public servant under section 186, and interestingly, there was no reference of the initial allegation of kidnapping. After hearing submissions from all parties, the Magistrate refused to grant the application for remand.”
The independence of an advocate and solicitor to act for a client without fear or favour is fundamental to the administration of justice. A lawyer must at all times be allowed to advance a client’s rights without obstruction or impediment, or fear of prosecution for carrying out his or her duties as an officer of the Court. Any unwarranted interference with the discharge of such duties is a serious violation of the independence of the legal profession, and an affront to the administration of justice.”UNQUOTE
Malaysian Bar Press Release | Abuse of Police Investigative and Detentive Powers Must Stop dated 25th June 2018
Reference to above Malaysian Bar Press Release:
Imagine the huge arrogance of this Immigration Investigation Officer (IO) firstly to deny me access to a lawyer upon arrest.
He then makes himself judge, jury and executioner: (i) by isolating me from accessing legal counsel for 21 days. (ii) by obstructing and impediment of my lawyer’s private and confidential discussion with me. (iii) And to top it all up, he decided that he had special power to lock a Singaporean up without a Magistrate remand order as long as he likes.
In summary, either it is something wrong with him or something wrong with those who put him in this position or something wrong with such justice system.
Journal Entries For Day 23 –22.3.2018 (Thursday)
Occasionally some days when the detainees looked out, they may see groups of female detainees passing by outside their cell. Within the Pekan Nanas compound, there is one block of detention cell for females and children. This brightened up the days for the detainees to sees some ladies for a change. Some ladies detainees do have their little children detained together with them. Similarly we can see the fierceness of the women Immigration officers and the harsh treatment by them.
For the women detainees, we have read that their personal hygiene items and conditions is terrible. Just like we went for 14 days without proper change of clothes for us, they have additional requirements that have no proper provision in addition to change of clothes. It is no wonder that there is so much complaint by a group of Filipina detainees with their children.
Journal Entries For Day 24 – 23.3.2018 (Friday)
There was this tall lanky Australia-national Ang Mo who is a very individualistic person from first world Australia. On this day is a story about his involvement in a big fight.
In my affidavit, I have included this Australia-national detainee fight with a group of Nepal-national detainees story.
He is the only Australian-national staying in this “resort” while the rest are mostly from third world countries staying in hellish detention center.
Why do I term “resort”? This is because this Australian detainee’s life here is the only one accorded with “special privileges” and NO immigration officer DARES to touch him.
He was the only national that all these immigration folks do not have the guts to touch him because he is from a first world country that stands up for human rights. Bravo for Australia and he proves it as the story goes.
This Australian detainee is another folk hero in Pekan Nanas history
I repeated again that he is the only person that none of the guards will come near him. The guards are smart enough to stay away and let their three-pip Indian officer handled him. Almost all officers are Malays and this one Indian officer is the only one that came near him and converse in English with this Australian.
It started off with the Australian being unhappy with the checker. Immigration selected this checker to be the person in charge of the cell. In short, he holds power over all detainees inside. The checker’s duties is to check and report all things to Immigration.
This checker is a Nepalese and because there are many Nepalese inside, he has a group of supporters. Among the supporters are one or two trouble makers who are aggressive. Their aggressiveness comes out openly through the many instances of argument between groups or individuals. In a couple of instances, fights almost broke out involving the one that is very aggressive.
Well we all knew that Nepalese are real brave warriors throughout history. The Gurkas are the most trustworthy and reliable fighting force in this world. But some doubt the identity of this checker is a true blue Nepalese. Some speculated that he is an Indian that has stayed in Nepal for a long time.
The backdrop to the this event
Because the Australian is an indomitable person, the officers hated him. So naturally they stirred the detainees to strongly dislike him. So the checker and the one supporter (that likes to play hero) is always getting onto the nerves of this Australian.
This Nepalese checker with some power, always played macho and mafia-type behavior in front of everyone. He is always boasting that he can teach whoever “a lesson they would never forget”. It means that he will beat the hell out of that person on a one-on-one. This bragging is almost every time there is an unhappiness or challenge from the rest of the detainees. It is easy for him to play macho as officers are backing him. In any situation involving the checker, these officers would intervene to beat the crap out of anyone involving in fight within the cell. There are a total of four fights that I witnessed inside this place.
All the detainees are waiting for the moment when he would display his kung fu fighting skill. Everyone could then judge his boasted so-called “beat-the-hell-out-of-you” fighting skill.
Journal entries of the Australian detainee and his territory
This Australian gets to choose the best spot in the cell and that is the spot nearest to the front platform and the gate. He demarcated this spot to be his own territory within this cell. Here, within this territory, he will put all his belongings. And the person sleeping next to him must not sleep onto his demarcated territory. So this is the Australian way of life which is so unlike all of us.
He not only gets to have his own territory, he makes sure that within this territory, and he can exercise all his rights. His rights involve being able to be fully naked after he comes out from his bath and wipes off the water etc.
There was one memorable incident involving a group of VIP visitors doing an inspection visit. These group of VIP includes women and they were walking around outside. It was memorable because he was fully naked and was exposing himself to the view of women visitors. He was not bothered by the noises from the rest of detainees to him. There were voices of admonition to him to respect the decency of the women visitors.
Tempted to test the Australian detainee’s boundary
To him, this is not his problem as he is within his rights, within his territory within the cell to be fully naked as there is NO RULES against this. His unspoken message to everyone is that these visitors are out of place to come to a fully male place. Furthermore these visitors are fully aware that they might see all the detainees inside. The visitors knew that they could see what the detainees were doing as the inside is exposed to outside view.
In his mind, maybe these women like to see a man’s private part. We may not know if he thinks that way or not and if it is the natural Australian’s thinking.
Within the Australian’s “territory” he maintained and defends his ownership. No checker or his gang is going to dominate him. So after a few of the incidents describe above, the checker and his handler is dying to see the moment the Australian would be humiliated in their heart of hearts.
Like a professional big fight in the fighting ring
Well the day finally came when the checker taunted him and the Australian challenged the checker to a one-on-one fight on the raised platform fighting ring. Both agreed that no one will be allowed to intervene and the checker promised not to gets the officers involved. This is the big fight on the fighting ring of Pekan Nanas Immigration Center. It is between on one side of the ring is “The checker” and on the other side of the ring is “The Australian”. It was too bad that there is no television crew to broadcast this big fight.
Immediately the Australian come at the checker and swing a fist, felling the checker and the fight began. As soon as it started, the other Nepalese joins in to gang up to attack the Australian.
The action-packed moves was so fast that within seconds both were hitting at each other on the platform. And to the surprise of everyone, the Australian’s kung fu was of a different level from the checker. The checker was a mess of himself, all twisted up on the floor. Other Nepalese quickly have to enter the fight against the Australian.
The checker had to be rescued from further damage by his supporters. One of the checker supporters was like superman delivering a flying kick to the Australian. Another was doing damage to the Australian’s body. Others have to step in between the checker and this Australian but not getting into the fight to avoid being punished by the officers.
The humiliation of the checker
The checker was such a sorry sight, after bragging all the times that he is a fighter that beats the hell out of people.
The fight went on for a while before the immigration officers intervened and rushed into the cell just like in the movies. Those detainees nearest to the fight could ends up being whacked by these officers.
One particular point to note is that Immigration officer did not take the checker to task. Similarly, the supporters who ganged up to attack the Australian were spared from being taken out to be beaten up.
This is the usual punishments that immigration carried out from all previous fights accounts. The immigration backed up their checker and gives a light slap to his wrist only.
One Immigration officer shouted for witness to step forward. This is hoping more would point fingers at the Australia national. One of the guards shouted to me: “Hey you Singaporean, what did you see?”
Obviously this guard was setting a trap to get me involved to take sides. Taking either one side would make me an enemy of many then. I had to reply that I was sleeping and I did not see anything.
Expectation that those involved would be punished outside never happened
The fight and the commotion freezes just like in matrix and everyone wonders what is next. Will the Australian be taken outside to be whipped the daylight out of him for fighting?
If so, will we witness another acts of brutality against this Australian. Guess what, they have to call the most senior three-pip officer out of his late afternoon nap. They need him to deal with this Australian. Seems like a wise move to do this to avoid a diplomatic row with Australia huh.
They reckoned that if there is any diplomatic row, this senior officer is the best person to be held responsible instead of their own kind. It could also due to most of the officers and guards cannot converse well in English.
Journal entries of the Camp Commandant’s intervention
As the checker was involved (he was their man) they just ended up giving a warning to the Australian.
The senior Camp Commandant with a three-pip rank came in to warn the Australian that he could be reported to the local police and charged for an offence that will leads to an extension of his detention by months.
And the same night, they moved the Australian guy to the cell on the second level and moved a Japanese detainee down in exchange. This Japanese has a problem mainly because of communication barrier and soon we find out that he is unpopular as he does not understand and mixes in with most of the other detainees.
Challenged whether this fighting actually occurred
I do get challenged on how true that this fight really occurs.
On the same night the fight happened, there was an unusual movement arrangement.
To pacify the Australian detainee, the senior officer agrees to an unusual arrangement to move him from the current cell to the cell one storey above. And a Japanese national have to be moved down to our cell in exchange.
This involvement of the prominent senior officer is easily verified as well as record of the transfer and relocation to a different cell.
I also believed that there will be a logged record of movement of detainee from one cell to another location that can be verified.
Journal Entries For Day 25 – 24.3.2018 (Saturday)
I remember my first entry into the cell was noticing an Ang Mo right at the front of the whole cell. The position where he is sitting is very obvious a special reserved place of privilege. It projects “top of the pack” image.
Whether it was assigned or self-imposed, I do not know. But judging from his aloofness and huge self-confidence, I would had guessed that he had determined to just set up his stuffs there and mark the place as his territory.
Earlier I had written about this Ang Mo and how he truly proves that he is “top of the pack”.
Well, he was the only detainee from a first world nation that was in the same cell as me till he was moved out because of a fight. The top Immigration officer arranged for an exchange for someone from the cell upstair to move down and this Australian is to move up.
What is puzzling is why must the top Immigration officer select this Japanese detainee down instead of just any third world detainee? It can hardly be doubted that there must be a reason for this choice from a shrewd man. For the reason, one can only speculate.
The first world Japanese detainee
So this Japanese detainee entered into our cell with a grand entrance and carrying very little possession and tattered clothes and beltless three-quarters pants. The pants were folded up unevenly and the shirt was buttoned wrongly, giving the impression that he is slightly off his rocker. I believed that this is the same clothes that he must be wearing when he was picked up.
The escorting officer parting words to him: “XXX-San, you must be good here”. ‘XXX’ is the numeral that is assigned to each detainee for identification purpose. We do not know the name of any of the detainee. Every detainee is just a three-digit number.
Though we expect to see the Samurai spirit in a Japanese, he did quite well despite the fact that he is alone and a big communication problem. It is noticeably that he was having a hard time in his previous cell up stair, from the guard and detainees from the tone of the guard and their body language.
He is of 40 to 50 years old of age; about 5 feet 7 inches tall with crew cut hair and unshaven chin. He does not understand the Malay language except the little he picked up while being locked inside here and everyone communicated in Malay. It is very apparent that because of his communication handicap, he was misunderstood as well as unable to communicate his needs and requests to be understood. The communication gap was a huge part of his problem with many people during his detention.
Journal Entries For Day 26 – 25.3.2018 (Sunday)
Today is the end of 10 days of spiritual fast and prayers throughout this period. This fasting and prayer will surely brings divine favor to thwart the evil days that these Immigration officers wanted to put my life through.
And I must report that there was indeed divine favor.
I heard from many that there was as an eleventh hour Magistrate substitute today for the regular lady Magistrate. It is a good thing as this absent lady magistrate has a preference for jail instead of fines for most cases.
There are some grounds for this rumor because the officer MZ has proclaimed that I would surely goes to jail.
Officer MZ was fairly confident that I will get a jail term because he knew this lady Magistrate loves to give jail term.
I believe that through the fasting and praying, God has given a fair-minded Magistrate. This Magistrate ordered a minimum fine sentence according to the range of punishment the Acts prescribed.
On the day after my sentencing, he came rushing to see whether I get a jail term. I watched him conversing with Mr P, Singh excitedly. He had rushed back to the center from somewhere outside.
They were deeply disappointed.
Journal Entries For Day 27– 26.3.2018 (Monday)
We had to wake up very early to prepare us to leave early from the detention center. From the detention center, we were taken to the “Makamah” court, seated and ready for our cases to be heard before the Magistrate.
At this point in time then only we knows exactly who were the ones without valid document which were 6 of them, four of them were employees for one of the big factory in Gelang Patah. In fact this big factory is just along the same street as the company I worked for.
As recorded on the 21.03.2018 journal entries, Mr P Singh told a pack of lies such as the factory boss had came to redeem the fat Nepalese girl, about this boss being such a nice man that he has met.
Inside the Immigration court
There were altogether about thirty people altogether that were brought before the magistrate. I guessed it is more cost effective to have just one magistrate to clear all the many foreign migrants’ cases.
On that day, there were a few local Chinese Malaysians have to attend court as well. They have committed some minor immigration offences and have to turn up in this court. They just walked in because they are local whereas all foreigners are in handcuffs just like caught animals.
During my 27 days of detention, I observed that Immigration officers treated foreign nationals detainees in their custody worse than animals. They handcuffed and linked everyone together whenever they moved these detainees around outside of their detention cell.
These officers love dragging a few long chains of interlinked handcuffs on the ground. It would make the eerie sound of dragging chains. The imagery is like the mythical belief of the two demons with chains to capture souls to Hades.
Immigration Court building
The court building is within the Pekan Nanas Detention compound. The building is the Mahkamah Sesyen Khas Pati Pekan Nanas. Mahkamah is the Malay word for court in English.
I managed to learn some Malay word like Mahkamah. The other Malay word I learned is Penjara which is Malay for jail. Other than these nefarious-linked words, cause of my nightmare experience, it is pointless for me to learn Malay. Whenever I remember such words, it will triggers negative and unpleasant memories. This language also is not widely use anywhere in the world.
We were all handcuffed together while Immigration officers lead us over to the building.
They seated all the accused in rows after rows to face the Magistrate at the front of the hall.
The Magistrate sits on a raised chair with a very high back chair to make him look the most important guy in the room.
Journal entries of the Immigration court proceeding
The proceedings went like clockwork. An officer would read the charge to the offender. The magistrate would then ask the offender what is his plea.
You can hear the same chorus line every time to the tune of “plead guilty”. I have not heard any different version from hearing every single one of them. Then the magistrate allowed you to say a word or two. After this, he pronounced your sentence and then it moves on to the next offender.
For a “not guilty” plea, they will take you back to the detention cell to wait for the new trial date.
That will be another procedure that will be a long and complicated process for foreigners. Only Malaysians can be your bailer. You can be sure that the Immigration Department will vehemently object to your release on bail. This has been their standard response throughout my encounters with them.
Presented before the Magistrate for the following proceeding
They brought a charge of allowing people without valid immigration document to be on my property.
I was briefed by my lawyer that if I were to plead “not guilty”, I would be detained here until my case is over. The date for any trial is unknown and these could be months of waiting. My decision was taken based on what I see these Immigration officers are capable of scheming; there was no doubt in my mind that it would be a futile effort to defend against such scheming officers at this time.
The hint from the lawyers was the last barrier in my mind to my final decision on the guilty pleas to make and hope for the most lenient sentencing.
The sentencing was by a different Magistrate from the regular lady Magistrate. This lady Magistrate, according to many, is one who gave out strict sentencing which includes jail term. According to accounts from my lawyer, this change of magistrate was a last minute change.
This legal situation facing me is a 100% lose-lose situation for me. To plead not guilty will cause me to languish for an indeterminate period within these immigration walls under cruel and inhumane conditions.
There are lots of barriers and obstacles for a foreigner to fight court cases in Malaysia. Here in this place, cases can stretch for months and years.
It would cost me my life to continue in such circumstances. Within 4 months plus after release, I had a heart attack occurring.
Because I am back in Singapore, I was able to get timely treatment from a world-class hospital. In this inhumane place, it is a sure death because you have to wait even for an emergency. The officers have to follow the standard operating procedures (SOP) on all their duties and timings. God helped me to avert another evil to come out alive from this immigration trap.
The right decision in the face of adversity
I count myself blessed compared to the Nigerian PhD student who died while in Immigration custody. Till today, no Malaysian was held responsible for his death when it is very clear that the innocent Nigerian’s blood is on their hands.
To plead guilty would helps me regain my freedom to continue life with my family, friends and manage all my major issues with properties and cars. This will however have a big price to pay but will be a better option for me under such extreme cruel and inhumane treatments. I decided it is better to manage whatever the heavy price to pay and get out alive from this place as early as I can.
I pleaded guilty and the Magistrate gave the minimum fine of RM30,000 with no jail time. Indeed it is by the grace of God, that I had averted a jail-time evil through fasting and prayer.
Journal entries of Kluang Prison
After the court proceeding ended, they segregated all the detainees into different groups according to the sentence ordered by the court.
We were given packets of rice for our lunch and thereafter we were packed into their Immigration vehicle and transported to Kluang prison.
In the meantime, my daughter meets up with my lawyer and follow up to make payment for the fine immediately. The day (26.03.2018) and 13:16:46 hour shown machine-printed on the Bil Rasmi. After making the payment, she proceeded to obtain the “Order of discharge” from the court for my release.
My family was looking forward to my release after paying the fine. Guess what? The Malaysia Immigration Department refused to release me to my family. Where is the law and order?
So they locked me in one of their main prison, the Kluang prison for next few days for sinister motives. Let me explain. I met another detainee in this Kluang prison who told me that his wife had to pay RM3,000 to an immigration officer for his release from Kluang prison.
They refused to effect his release after his payment of the fine amount. His wife then went to Immigration to find out where is her husband. An officer point blank asked for RM3,000 service fee to help her effect his immediate release. Instead of paying such kind of service fee, my daughter approached Singapore MFA for any assistance she needs.
The unjust justice system
This is injustice when you compared this to the justice system reflected through this case of similar nature in Singapore.
The court committed a mistake resulting in two extra days of jail after the offender had paid the fine. He thus erroneously subjected to harsh jail environment, suffered loss of personal freedom and liberty during the two extra days.
QUOTE: “The State Courts deeply regret what has happened, and we have conveyed our letter of apology to Mr Teo through the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” UNQUOTE they added.
In response to CNA’s queries, Mr Teo’s lawyer Tan Hee Joek said the following: QUOTE: “that his client was grateful to the courts for their swift clarification”. UNQUOTE
QUOTE: “Those extra two days were especially agonizing for him as he lived in uncertainty and fear in a small cell for four,” UNQUOTE said Mr Tan. – 2 September
Under the UN human rights convention – Article 3 reads as follows: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. The Singapore Court recognize this universal principle and accorded the offender his rights correctly. Indeed this act deserves recognition by the international legal community.
Extrajudicial detention by Immigration officer
Since Immigration refused to release me and as a foreigner at the mercy of the Immigration officer, they locked me in their jail, shaved off all my hair trying to humiliate me since all of their earlier sinister attempts had failed.
Here while processing for me to stay here, I witnessed a Bangladeshi national badly beaten by a prison officer torture gadget and was screaming for mercy.
Then one corrupt prison police sergeant scammed me of RM75. The RM75 was for coffee, snacks, and one telephone call but did not delivered as promised.
He took RM75 and altered the amount accordingly on the “acknowledgement of items and belongings receipt”. This receipt is proof of the lost RM75 to such scam. So many low-life officers lurking around looking for preys.
So begins this next stage of extrajudicial detention by Malaysia Immigration against a Singaporean after the unlawful 27 days before trial. The sinister motive is becoming more and more apparent with no shame.
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