In October last year, she was later produced in court and thereafter was sent to the depot in Lenggeng in October last year. Lengeng is a Detentention Centre for foreign migrants who entered Malaysia without permission.
She spent 11 agonising months at the Lenggeng Immigration depot for illegals – all allegedly because she could not recall her identity card number and was not fluent in Bahasa Malaysia. This is not acceptable or reasonable.
Finally, she was released now with her 10-month old baby - and thanks to the efforts of Malaysian Indian Youth Council vice-president Andrew Raju, and an un-named staff member in a clinic.
This un-named staff member and Andrew Raju must be commended for their actions that led to an end of a great and shameful injustice that has befallen this women and her CHILD - her now10-month-old son Logekali.
But, how could this happen - and the blame can lie nowhere else BUT on the POLICE, that Judge and the Court, and the Immigration Department.
This was WRONGFUL DETENTION - and I believe that this young mother and her child should immediately be justly compensated by the government - without requiring her to go to court and further hardship to seek justice.
It is an embarassment and a very bad reflection of our own government - detaining wrongfully a Malaysian mother (and child) in a Malaysian Detention Centre for so very wrong...
SEREMBAN: Young mother M. Rajeshvari spent 11 agonising months at the Lenggeng Immigration depot for illegals – all because she could not recall her identity card number and was not fluent in Bahasa Malaysia.
The 22-year-old, who was six months pregnant then, was waiting for a relative at a coffeeshop in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, when a raiding police party asked to see her identification card. She could not because she had lost it. Worse, she also forgot the IC number.
With only primary school education and speaking a smattering of Bahasa Malaysia, she failed to convince the authorities she was Malaysian. They suspected her to be a Sri Lankan immigrant.
Making matters worse, she could only give the officers sketchy details of her background.
Rajeshvari, who is from Penang and was jobless when she was detained, was later produced in court and eventually sent to the depot in Lenggeng in October last year.
She was unable to seek help from relatives because of estranged family ties. Her family members also did not attempt to look for her.
She was finally released from the detention camp on Friday evening, carrying her 10-month-old son Logekali.
Rajeshvari’s lucky release happened because a staff member at a clinic where Logekali was treated for food poisoning last week had alerted Malaysian Indian Youth Council vice-president Andrew Raju.
“After my arrest, I kept telling the authorities I was Malaysian but no one believed me,” said a tearful Rajeshvari.
Raju, when met outside the depot, said the officers did not pursue her case further as Rajeshvari could not give the right IC number or her parents’ address.
“In the beginning, I also had a hard time checking her out because the information she gave turned out to be dead ends, until she recalled her primary school,” he said.
Raju then contacted the school’s principal in Kampar in Perak, who managed to trace Rajeshvari’s birth certificate number.
Raju then went to the National Registration Department in Putrajaya to get a letter confirming Rajeshvari’s citizenship.
“It has been stressful running around to the various departments. But it is worth it when both mother and son are finally free,” he said.
Rajeshvari said she wanted to put the nightmare behind and start afresh with her baby. - Star, 7/9/2008 -Malaysian spends 11 months at depot for illegals
I do not think an apology by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (PM) or Mohd Najib Razak (DPM) or the Ketua Pengarah Immigresen or the IGP or the Head of the Malaysian Judiciary responsible for the court would suffice....
This woman and her child must NOW be adequately compensated financially for her loss of liberty (and for the loss of liberty of her child) and the sufferings that they have suffered and will suffer in the future.
In terms, of compensation for wrongful detention - in Australia almost AUD1 million was paid out to 11 persons last year by settlement - and that would work out to be about AUD100,000 per person. And there, the wrongful detention may have been for a few days or 3 weeks the most.
In our case mother and child was arrested and detained, I believe for about 12-13 months. When arrested, she was 6 months pregnant - when released at last, she walks out with a 10-month old baby.
Therefore, I would say that besides the apologies, the government of Malaysia must now pay in compensation to this mother and child the sum of at least about AUD2 million or RM6 million.
The Federal Government admits it has paid almost $1 million in compensation to 11 people held in wrongful detention, including an Australian citizen. Figures released yesterday suggest the Government faces further payments of millions of dollars.
Since 1993 11 citizens from nine countries - Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Fiji, France, Malaysia, South Korea and Britain - have been paid compensation for wrongful detention.
That does not include Cornelia Rau, the Australian resident detained for months by immigration authorities, or Vivian Alvarez Solon, the Australian citizen wrongly deported to the Philippines in 2001.
On average the 11 people were paid nearly $84,000 for their wrongful detention in confidential settlements.
The total paid was $920,000, according to answers to questions from the Greens senator Kerry Nettle during Senate estimates hearings in May....
...Some of the 11 cases have already been publicly aired, even though confidentiality clauses are standard on settlements for wrongful detention.
Mohamadou Sacko, a Frenchman, received $25,000 after being detained for several days on suspicion of carrying a false passport. A Korean on a visitor visa working on a fruit farm was held at Baxter detention centre for at least a week before it was realised she was here lawfully.- The Sydney Morning Herald, 17/8/2008 - Detention's $1m damage trail
Concerned lay person Andrew Raju was able to invetigate and provide evidence of the truth - so there really is no justification for police, court, immigration officers, etc ....wrongfully detaining this pregnant Malaysian women, forcing her to have her baby in detention, causing this Malaysian baby to be born in detention and live out the first 10 months in a detention centre - compensate her now..