Win for justice for case to be heard
The detention period after the first illegal detention
It was perfect timing when the Singapore Straits Times journalist contacted me on a Friday evening. He was requesting for a phone interview following a piece of news released by Malaysiakini. This interview was prior to their news publication of my second legal challenge.
On 2nd July, Straits Times published the news titled: ‘Singaporean man allowed to challenge ‘unlawful detention’ by Malaysian authorities‘. This news is about my second legal challenge concerning my eight-days detention by the Malaysia Immigration Authorities in 2018.
My second legal challenge on “unlawful detention” is as follows; I was brought before a magistrate on Mar 26th of 2018 and fined RM30,000 by the magistrate for an immigration offence. After the fine was promptly paid off, the court issued an Order of Discharge for my release. However, Malaysia Immigration authorities continued to detain me in their Kluang prison and then in the Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot. It was after eight days later, on the 4th of April 2018, that the Malaysian Immigration authorities deported me back to Singapore .
Malaysian media, Malaysiakini, also published this news, ‘Retired Singaporean allowed to challenge ‘unlawful’ detention by immigration’. To read this piece, click on the below pdf file.Retired-Singaporean-allowed-to-challenge-unlawful-detention-by-immigration
During the phone interview, I provided the ST journalist some important facts regarding my case. With those facts, really did a great job in putting out a well-written journalistic piece of news.
Excerpts of the ST news :
“Everyone told me there’s no way I could win, so this is a wonderful development,” he said. “I want justice, I want to fight to clear my name. I want to do this so that no other foreigner will have to go through what I went through.”
News about the first illegal detention period
In 2020, I challenged the Malaysian Immigration Authorities that my detention from 13-3-2018 to 26-03-2018 was unconstitutional and unlawful.
That victory was a wonderful moment for me. This was because everyone was telling me that there is no way I could win my case. That was indeed a big win for justice.
So I not only won the first case on 4th May 2021, the KL High Court has now allowed me to proceed with my second legal challenge. The High Court dismissed the AGC’s attempt to strike out my suit on the 29th June 2022.
The aim to go for a second court win was to set in stone this fact. The fact that the Malaysian Authorities had been carrying out detention of foreigners unconstitutionally and illegally. This is in violation of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3.Singaporeans-detention-by-Msian-authorities-was-illegal-court-decides
Shedding light on illegal detention and the Immigration Act 1959/63
This latest court decision will help shed more light into the abuses of power by the Malaysian Immigration authorities.
For a start, the Malaysian Immigration Act 1959/63 is an anti-foreigner’s human rights law. It allows the Malaysian Immigration authorities to detain foreigners for up to 14 days without a magistrate remand order. The universally accepted basic human rights of life, liberty and security applies to foreigners as well as to Malaysian citizens. So why is there a difference which violates the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3.
Article 3 declares that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. Article 3 is enshrined in the Malaysia Federal Constitution Article 5(4). However, by means of the Malaysian Immigration Act 1959/63, it has been overridden by this Act.
The Act stipulated that foreigners must be presented before a magistrate within 14 days for Remand Order. However, this legal requirement has been violated by Immigration officers as seen from my case. Clearly it is an abuse of the Malaysian Immigration authorities’ power blatantly.
Violation of human rights and illegal detention
Apparently this legal requirement for a magistrate remand order can be violated easily for the following reasons.
There are no checks and controls to ensure that Immigration Authorities are following this legal requirement of the Act.
An actual case in point is the case involving my first legal challenge which brought this loophole to light. In the past, foreigners without the financial means to litigate had to take these injustices to the grave.
Even if one has the financial means it may not have the same positive outcome as mine. The main reason being that there are many factors that are stacked against them as a foreigner. We have seen one such case involving another Singaporean that did not end with a positive outcome. This was reported in a June 12th 2019 news report.
The above-mentioned legal challenge is clear proof showing the blatant abuse of foreigners. These abuses subjected foreigners to long periods of illegal detention inside inhumane Immigration Depots.
A win for justice against illegal detention
After the widely publicized news of the first court win of illegal detention, I came across two other news of court wins of immigration’s illegal detention of foreigners. You can read these here (court-rules-11-foreign-spouses-detention-unlawful) and here (nigerian-simon-momoh-thanks-god-after-court-win-against-immigration-move-to-deport-him).
The above two pieces of news had shown that the first court win on 4th may 2021 has turned the table on the immigration department with more awareness of the requirement to present foreigners detained under the Immigration Act before a magistrate within 14 days.
Interestingly, reading from the news report on the 30th June 2022 of a recent case involving 11 foreign spouses; the news reported that, quote “They arrested the 11 Chinese and Vietnamese women in a room. The women were detained for 13 days until Dec 26. They were released on 26th and then re-arrested and held for another 14 days.” unquote. This signals a change in tactics by Immigration authorities to circumvent the legal requirements.
Truly before the first court win and in the absence of any proof that shows compliance of the Act’s legal requirements, immigration is suspected a serial violator of human rights of foreigners.
Illegal detention related news
The below following news is recent news within the month of June 2022 relating to illegal detentions, deaths within immigration detention depots and inhumane treatment of foreigners in detention depots:
Two of the news reported that the court ruled against Immigration Department as illegal detention. With more such news of illegal detention, the public as well as the courts are more aware about Immigration’s illegal detention. More people are now aware that the Malaysia Immigration authorities had violated the Act’s legal requirement to present before a magistrate within 14 days for Remand Order.
The other news highlighted blatant abuses, inhumane treatment and even death of foreign detainees arising from detention under the Immigration Act.
Indeed, “I want to do this so that no other foreigner will have to go through what I went through”. It already helps ensure that Malaysian Immigration authorities will find it difficult to detain foreigners illegally.
Aim of legal challenge on second illegal detention
It is already obvious from the many court rulings that the Malaysian Immigration authorities is a suspected serial violator of foreigner’s human rights for not presenting before a magistrate within 14 days. However what is still not obvious is that many officers within Malaysian Immigration authorities abused their power to detain foreigners for long periods ranging from few weeks to a couple of years.
This legal challenge on the second detention is to prove that there is also no checks and controls by the court or other authorities on this unfettered power to detain without accountability and official record ordering such detentions.
Hopefully the coming high court judgment on 24th August 2022 will shed light regarding this second legal challenge. It is hoped that the judgment will address this unfettered power of Immigration officer against foreigners. This will help prevent the abuse of power for corrupt motives.
This unfettered power of immigration officers to detain indiscriminately is one reason that many foreigners capitulate to plead guilty or admit to false charges in exchange for walking out early from the inhumane detention depot instead of months or years of illegal detention.
This “win for justice” was long overdue but it was a marvelous development nonetheless. It shines a powerful light into the dark and nefarious activities within the Malaysian Immigration authorities to reveal atrocities committed.
These are basically two different types of illegal detentions. One is violation of the Act’s legal requirement. The second type of illegal detention is the unfettered power Immigration officers abrogates to themselves to detain for corrupt motives.
There have been past abuses of human rights of many foreigners and these foreigners will never have their grievances redressed as it will be challenged with the 3-years barred by limitation under Section 2(a) of the Public Authorities Protection Act 1948 (Act 198).
An excerpt from (nigerian-simon-momoh-thanks-god-after-court-win-against-immigration-move-to-deport-him); Quote: “According to Gurdial, there is a large number of non-citizens in the Semenyih immigration depot who are believed to be detained under similar circumstances without lawyers to represent them. He urged the government to look into this as it would seriously impair their fundamental rights.” unquote. Many foreigners’ human rights are blatantly being abused and illegally detained within Malaysian Immigration authorities Immigration Depots. This is with respect to the two different types of illegal detentions that have been challenged in Malaysia Courts.
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