PRESS RELEASE - 27/4/2007
EMPLOYER HOLDS PASSPORT PUTTING WORKER AT RISK
PROPERLY DOCUMENTED MIGRANT WORKER ARRESTED AND DETAINED FOR MORE THAN 70 DAYS
ARRESTED BECAUSE HE COULD NOT PRODUCE PASSPORT WHICH WAS WITH THE IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT
WHEN ORIGINAL PASSPORT RETURNED BY IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT AND SHOWED TO POLICE, SEMENYIH DETENTION CENTRE, IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT, PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE - HE WAS NOT RELEASED UNTIL 13/4/2007
EMPLOYER NOW WRONGFULLY HOLDING PASSPORT - MUHAMMAD ISHFAQ IN DANGER OF GETTING ARRESTED AND DETAINED - HE IS DEPRIVED OF HIS “PERSONAL LIBERTY” - HE IS IN “DETENTION” OF ANOTHER KIND.
MUHAMMAD ISHFAQ (Paspot No: AY 1841031), a Pakistani national, came to Malaysia legally to work. His employer is Indrasit Holdings Sdn Bhd and from the documentation, it is clear that his entry into Malaysia was legal. It was done after the Immigration Department had granted permission vide their letter dated 24/11/2006 addressed to the employer to bring in 32 workers from Pakistan.
The employer, after the arrival of Muhammad Ishfaq in Malaysia, then took his passport and submitted it to the Immigration Department for the required work permit [Pas Lawatan (Kerja Sementara)] to be indorsed,etc.
It was when the said original Passport of Muhammad Ishfaq was with the Immigration Department that Muhammad Ishfaq was arrested by the police on 28/1/2007 maybe for not being able to produce and show his original passport.
We say “maybe” as there can still be no certainty as the police report relating to the arrest, despite being requested for by the lawyers, have yet to be provided to the Muhammad Ishfaq’s lawyers.
Muhammad Ishfaq, after his arrest was sent to Depoh Tahanan Pendatang Tanpa Izin Semenyih Selangor where he was detained until finally he was released on 13/4/2007 after this application in court was filed and served.
The application was filed on 2/4/2007 with a Certificate of Urgency and the court could only give 27/4/2007 as the Hearing Date.
After the application was filed, the Peguam Negara’s office ordered his release on or before 5/4/2007 - but Depoh Tahanan Pendatang Tanpa Izin Semenyih Selangor did not want to release him - and ultimately only released him on 13/4/2007.
The Immigration Department took his original passport, and gave it to the employer despite the fact that Muhammad Ishfaq asked that it be given to him.
Muhammad Ishfaq asked his employer for his passport but they refused to give him back his passport - and they also threatened that they are going to cancel Muhammad Ishfaq’s
permit and send him back to Pakistan. Muhammad Ishfaq wants to stay and work in Malaysia - he does not want to go back to Pakistan, and his work permit is valid until January 2008.
Muhammad Ishfaq may be no more in detention in Depoh Tahanan Pendatang Tanpa Izin Semenyih Selangor but still his a person in “detention”, and a person whose “personal liberty” is being deprived BECAUSE his employer has kidnapped his passport and is refusing to return it to him.
Since his release,Muhammad Ishfaq has been on leave taking rest to recover from the trauma of prolonged detention. Muhammad Ishfaq is also getting medical treatment for the skin disease that he got by reason for his detention.
Muhammad Ishfaq comes to court to get his freedom and his personal liberty back - and hopes that the court will also order that his passport be returned to him for him to keep so that he will be safe to move around without worry of being arrested and detained just because he could not produce his original passport.
A brief chronology of what happened to Muhammad Ishfaq is as follows:-
28-1-2007 Muhammad Ishfaq arrested by police
29-1-2007 Employer’s representative goes to the Sunway Police station with all documents to prove that the presence of Muhammad Ishfaq was legal. They asked them to go to the Bandar Puchong police station. The Bandar Puchong Police said that they could not o anything as this was a Bandar Sunway matter.
30-1-2007 The employer’s representative went back to the Bandar Sunway police station - who now told them that they could not do anything until they had sight of the original passport of Muhammad Ishfaq.
9-2-2007 The employer receives back the original passport from the Immigration Department, which clearly has a Pas Lawatan(Kerja Sementara) that expires only on 11/1/2008 - that makes it clear beyond any doubt that Muhammad Ishfaq is and was legally here in Malaysia for work until January 2008. The police then asks the employer’s representative to go to Depoh Tahanan Pendatang Tanpa Izin Semenyih Selangor.
13-2-2007 The employer’s representative goes to the Depoh Tahanan Pendatang Tanpa Izin Semenyih Selangor, and they say they cannot release Muhammad Ishfaq until they receive directions from the police or the Public Prosecutor. The Depoh Tahanan Pendatang Tanpa Izin Semenyih Selangor then takes and holds the original passport of Muhammad Ishfaq.
15-2-2007 The employer’s representative goes back to the Sunway Police Station, and one Sjn. Ariffin says that he needs the original passport.
21-2-2007 The employer’s representative goes back to Depoh Tahanan Pendatang Tanpa Izin Semenyih Selangor and obtains the original passport of Muhammad Ishfaq.
The employer’s representative returns to Sjn Ariffin (Sunway Police Station), and he now says that the Immigration Department does not have any records about Muhammad Ishfaq.
22-2-2007 The employer’s representative goes to the Immigration Department in Pusat Bandar Damansara, Kuala Lumpur and gets even additional documents verifying Muhammad Ishfaq’s existence and valid presence in Malaysia. They also went to the Selangor Immigration Department.
When the employer’s representative returns with all these proof, Sjn Ariffin wrongfully said that he did want to be disturbed about this matter.
When the Public Prosecutor’s office in Selangor is contacted, they say that they have no records of the arrest and detention of Muhammad Ishfaq.
26-2-2007 The employer’s representative then went back to the Immigration Department in Pusat Bandar Damansara, and they also said that they do not have any record of Muhammad Ishfaq’s arrest and detention.
The employer’s representative goes back to the Sunway Police Station,and meet with the Officer in Charge, one C/Insp Supari, who says that he cannot do anything as this case was handled by Sjn Ariffin.
15-3-2007 Muhammad Ishfaq’s friend, one Alam Zeb, sends a letter to the Public Prosecutor’s office in Selangor enclosing a Statutory Declaration that also enclosed copies of all relevant documents appealing for the release of Muhammad Ishfaq.
28-3-2007 Muhammad Ishfaq’s lawyer sends letters to all relevant parties seeking the release of Muhammad Ishfaq, enclosing also relevant documents clearly showing that the arrest and prolonged detention was wrong.
3-4-2007 Public Prosecutor’s office in Selangor sends Alam Zeb a letter stating that his appeal that Muhammad Ishfaq be released have been allowed.
5-4-2007 Peguam Negara Malaysia sends a letter to the Muhammad Ishfaq’s lawyers stating very clearly that they have investigated the matter, and have ordered that Muhammad Ishfaq is to be released from custody. (This letter was also copied to the Public Prosecutor’s office in Selangor)
11-4-2007 After receipt of the letter from Peguam Negara Malaysia on 11/4/2007, Muhammad Ishfaq’s lawyers sent letters to all relevant parties enclosing the Peguam Negara’s letter, asking that Muhammad Ishfaq be immediately released from custody/detention.There was also verbal communication with the relevant parties. Many other letters were sent.
13-4-2007 The Immigration Department in Putrajaya finally contacts the lawyers of the Applicant stating that Muhammad Ishfaq will be released in Putrajaya, and that the lawyers need to be present with the original passport. It was clearly made known that the lawyers were Muhammad Ishfaq’s lawyers - not the lawyers of the employer. It is only after the employer stopped trying to get Muhammad Ishfaq out of detention that Muhammad Ishfaq appointed his own lawyer.
The original passport of Muhammad Ishfaq was taken from the lawyers of Muhammad Ishfaq, and the Immigration Department said that they had to wait for the employer to come before Muhammad Ishfaq can be released.
When the employer’s representative arrived, the original passport was handed to the employer’s representative by the Immigration Department despite protests from the lawyers of Muhammad Ishfaq and Muhammad Ishfaq himself.
The employer’s representative stated that the employer wanted to cancel the work permit and deport Muhammad Ishfaq back to Pakistan.
Muhammad Ishfaq and his lawyers asked the employer’s representative to return the Applicant’s passport to Muhammad Ishfaq but they refused, and till today is wrongly holding on to Muhammad Ishfaq’s passport, and Muhammad Ishfaq is again at risk and his freedom of movement and “liberty” is denied. He is still in “detention” and/or “custody” of another kind.
Muhammad Ishfaq is on leave at the moment to recover from the trauma of detention and also is seeking medical treatment. The employer has also not paid him his wages since he arrived in Malaysia. Muhammad Ishfaq has filed a complaint with the Labour Department. Muhammad Ishfaq will be going back to work once the employer is able to tell him where he is to work.
(For further information, kindly contact Mr Charles Hector of Messrs Charles Hector, Muhammad Ishfaq’s lawyer [03-79581844, 019-2371100] )