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Singaporean and 86 foreigners jailed for illegally walking across Causeway

A Singaporean fugitive, Tan Hock Chye, 47, was sentenced to a 12 months' jail term for illegally walking across the Causeway into Malaysia without a passport.

Tan pleaded guilty on 14 March, also admitting to being on the wanted list in Singapore and that he also had previous convictions for armed robbery and drug-related offences.

Tan was arrested at the Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at 9.15am on 28 February and was subsequently charged under Section 6(1)(a) of the Immigration Act.

Immigration Department prosecutor A. Vickneswaran prosecuted the case. Sessions Court Judge Salawati Djambari stated that beyond illegally entering Malaysia. Tan's case was also of someone who was attempting to escape from his country's own laws.

While Malaysia has prohibited walking across the Causeway after the CIQ complex opened in 2010, citing "security" reasons, Singapore still allows the long-standing practice.

At the same court, Salawati also sentenced a total of 86 foreigners, consisting of 30 women and 56 men, from seven countries to between two weeks and 15 months imprisonment. The 86 foreigners are from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, India and Nepal. They were charged for various immigration offences, including illegally entry into Malaysia without a passport, overstaying, misuse of social passes and using fake entry passes. Malaysian immigration prosecutors, Lee Siew Ching and Hanapiah Rosli prosecuted the cases.