MALAYSIA —A retired Singaporean engineer, Wong Chun Khuen, has taken the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) of Malaysia to court over the alleged refusal to investigate his 21-day unlawful detention in 2018.

Wong filed a judicial review application against the IGP on 5 January 2023, accusing the police of failing to receive, investigate, and take action on his complaints.

This is not the first time Wong has taken legal action over his detention — he has previously won two cases in the Kuala Lumpur High Court regarding his illegal detention by Malaysian immigration in March and April of 2018.

Wong claims that despite numerous emails and communications through Interpol, the Malaysian police did not look into his reports regarding his unlawful detention.

He resorted to filing police reports with the Singaporean police, which were then forwarded to Interpol Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur.

According to Wong, the Malaysian police responded by saying that his complaint was beyond their jurisdiction and instructed him to direct it to the Malaysian Immigration Department or Home Ministry.

He alleges that the IGP did not respond to any further emails sent by his lawyers.

In his affidavit, Wong argued that the IGP had a duty and power to investigate his complaint and that the refusal to do so constituted a violation of the Police Act 1967.

He is seeking a mandamus order to compel the IGP to receive, investigate, and take appropriate action, as well as costs and any other relief deemed fit by the court.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers is representing the IGP. The case management for the judicial review took place today and the next hearing is set for 3 April 2023.

Detained and fined RM30,000

Wong was arrested along with several other foreigners during a raid on his house in Johor Bahru on February 28, 2018.

He was detained at the Pekan Nenas Immigration Detention Centre and later produced before a magistrate, where he pleaded guilty to an immigration offense and was fined RM30,000.

Despite paying the fine, he was detained for another eight days before being released on 4 April 2018.

Wong was granted RM50,000 as compensation by the Malaysian Immigration Department on 16 November last year for his unlawful detention.

Wong’s latest court victory marks the second time he has succeeded in his legal challenge.

On 5 May 2021, Mr Wong obtained a court declaration that his 13-day detention by the immigration authorities was illegal.

Wong accused items sold exorbitant prices in the detention centre

In an interview by Malaysiakini, Mr Wong accused that food and other items in the detention centre were sold at exorbitant prices.

There were also deals like three-minute phone call which cost RM100(S$32.89) per call using an officer’s mobile phone, buying washing powder, soap, toothpaste and so forth from the officers.

Mr Wong said he was not provided with necessities during his detention, forcing detainees to purchase these items.

But Wong’s accusation was denied by then- Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin.

Singaporean detained in Malaysia in 2015 paid RM100 per minute of phone call

However, a 50-year-old Singaporean man named Mohan Rajangam, who was allegedly arrested by Singapore police and extradited to Malaysia over a non-existing murder charge in March 2015, told a different story.

During his lock up in Malaysia, Mr Mohan had to pay RM100 per minute of phone call to the attending wardens and other miscellaneous payments for essentials, as the conditions during his remand were unbearable to him.

Money was wired to the wardens after making calls to his wife and the wardens would only provide the items only after the money is transferred.

In 2020, TOC interviewed Mr. Mohan, exposing his traumatic experience of being left in Malaysia for four months, allegedly without any follow-up from either the SPF or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Another Singaporean sued Malaysia’s Immigration Department for RM2.67 million

In Jun 2019, another Singaporean Puis Gilbert Louis sued Malaysia’s Immigration Department for RM2.67 million over his 37-day detention in “horrifying conditions”.

Puis with a valid visa until 2 November 2018, was arrested by immigration officers in his own house in Johor Bahru on 9 October 2018. He was brought over to the Setia Tropika Immigration Centre (STIC) and placed in an over-crowded cell with 100 other detainees.

The condition of the space was extremely bad and he could only sleep on a “bare dirty floor beside a foul-smelling squalid open toilet” before he was transferred to the Pekan Nanas immigration camp the next morning.
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