Finally, after one month of probing into Mr Mohan’s four-month ordeal in Malaysia, the authorities have decided to provide a response.
For those who have not heard the story, Mr Mohan Rajangam, now in his 50s, was left in Malaysia for four months in 2015 without any follow up from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) or the Singapore High Commission in Malaysia after being arrested by 20 police officers at his workplace and without revealing details of his whereabouts to his family.
In fact, when he was finally released from detention in Malaysia after its authorities realised that he shouldn’t be there in the first place, he had to buy his own ticket back to Singapore — twice, after he was found to have overstayed in Malaysia when he tried to fly off on the first ticket.
His ordeal of being kept in the poor conditions of the Malaysian jail could have well been prevented if the authorities — that decided to send him to Malaysia — had checked that he was not even wanted for the murder in the first place. Or to simply check that his passport which proved that he was in Singapore at the time of the alleged murder.
However, the answers provided by the authorities raise more questions and not to mention doubt in the authority’s version of the story.
What the clarification by the Singapore Police Force on 17 Jan says:
1. SPF established that Mohan was in regular contact with Malaysian gang members in Jan 2015.
2. SPF arrested Mohan on 21 March 2015 after the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) sought assistance and arrest of Mohan because he was believed to be involved in a gang’s drug activities and harbouring members of the gang which is involved in a lethal shootout IN JOHOR.
3. SPF arrested Mohan on suspicion his drug and gang-related offences.
4. Mohan’s house was searched under the misuse of drug act.
5. RMP issued a warrant of arrest from the Malaysian Court against Mohan for an offence of murder in Georgetown, Penang on 2 March 2015.
6. The warrant of arrest was endorsed by a magistrate in Singapore court under section 121 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
7. Note that SPF state that Mohan was transferred custody to RMP and he was not extradited under extradition law. SPF simply transferred custody of Mohan to the Malaysian Police on 23 March 2015.
8. SPF states Mohan was detained for a period not exceeding 48 hours.
9. SPF states Mohan’s family was present during the search of residence on 21 March 2015.
10. SPF contacted Mohan’s brother on 23 March 2015, the same day he was transferred to RMP and provided contact details of the investigation officer.
11. Mohan was released by RMP on 15 July 2015 after its investigation into the murder case.
What SPF does not deny about Mohan’s claims made to TOC.
1. Mohan was arrested at his workplace with 20 over officers.
2. Mohan was verbally abused by the officers overseeing his detention.
3. SPF found no records of Mohan with the Central Narcotics Bureau and the Secret Society Branch while he was in detention. Nothing was found in the search of the residence.
4. Mohan was not given access to a lawyer to seek legal advice before transferring him to Malaysia.
5. No statement was taken by the SPF police during his detention.
6. Mohan had told the police and judge that he was in Singapore at the time and date of the alleged murder in Penang, Malaysia. His impounded passport would have proved his claim.
7. SPF did not consider his defence before transferring him to the RMP.
8. There was no follow up from the SPF for the entirety of Mohan’s detention after he was discharged from investigations on the alleged murder.
9. The family was not informed by SPF where Mohan was for the next 4 months after he was transferred from Singapore.
10. Mohan had to buy his return ticket back to Singapore.
11. Mohan was fined for overstaying in Malaysia because he had no visa. He overstayed because SPF transferred him to RMP custody.
12. Mohan lost his job due to the arrest and detention of four months.
13. Mohan had to go for surgery due to the medical condition he was in, after the four months of detention.
14. SPF took Mohan’s IC, lost it somehow but told Mohan to file a missing IC report and pay for the replacement himself.
What Mohan is contesting with SPF’s statement.
1. SPF did not state the reason for his arrest when he was arrested and throughout the whole course of his detention.
2. SPF lied about contacting his brother as the brother was in New Zealand at that time and the brother denies being contacted.
3. He did not rent the said apartment as alleged by the SPF.
4. He knew one of the gang member but that gang member had been working in Singapore for three decades. He knew the person while he was working as a manager and the gang member as a supervisor. That person was just one of 100 over Malaysian staff who had worked with him.
5. He was not investigated for the murder, but brought on a show parade around Penang for crimes that had no connection with him. He was only released after someone discovered that he shouldn’t be where he was.
6. He could have died in Malaysia without anyone knowing. It was just sheer luck that someone in Malaysia realised the mistake and let him out.
1. By 23 March, the RMP has already arrested the suspects involved in the Penang murder and one of the suspects confessed to the murder with the murder weapon found. This is before SPF transferred Mohan to RMP. The arrest was reported in Malaysian news.
2. SPF claims that Mohan was released after investigations into the murder but the official document from RMP in Penang (refer to image) shows that he was investigated for other secret society activities which he has nothing to do with, and detained under the Malaysia equivalent of the Internal Security Act for 28 days. Even that does not explain how Mohan was kept in Malaysia till 16 July.
3. SPF said that Mohan was released on the 15 July but Mohan says he was released on 16 July. His flight ticket was bought on the same day which TOC has seen. The passport was also released to Mohan from the RMP on 16 July.
4. Mohan was arrested for suspicion of an offence in Johor and later transferred to RMP for an entirely different offence. How does that work?
4. SPF told the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur back in 2015 that Mohan was charged in Penang when he was never charged for any offence. Did SPF lie to the High Commission?
Till today, the ministers have also not given any response to the matter.