Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rajeshvari Scandal : PM need assure us no other cases like this...

If you ask me now, what is my NRIC number - I will not able to recite it from memory - I need to look at it. It is now a 12-digit number. Previously, the old NRIC number was only 7 numbers.

So, not knowing the NRIC number is no justification for arresting some 6-month pregnant women having coffee in a coffee-shop in Brickfirelds and thereafter sending her to some detention camp for undocumented migrants.

From the initial report, I thought that this woman had difficulty communicating in Bahasa Malaysia - but alas she could speak BM. She did tell them her address, her previous school,etc -- "but they did not believe her..." WHY?

As one: Rajeshvari holding her temporary IC as her mother Parameswari and her sister Vigneswari who is holding Logekali look on. - Star, 10/9/2008 -Rajeshvari and son meet her mother and sister

Now, even if she could not speak Bahasa Malaysia, then surely there should have been interpreters available - not just at the police station, but also at the courts and the Immigration Detention Centress.

I wonder what would have been happened if she was disabled - not having the capacity to speak... (or even communicate...)

Rajeshvari, who was six-months pregnant then, was detained by a police party while waiting for a relative at a coffee shop in Brickfields last October.

They had mistaken her for a Sri Lankan immigrant despite her repeated pleas that she was a local. She gave birth to a boy, Logekali, while in detention.

“I know it’s my fault that I could not produce or remember my IC number but I did give the officers my address and school’s name only to be told that these did not exist,” she said.

She claimed she told them this several times in Bahasa Malaysia but they did not believe her.

“I was never a bright student and left school at 13 but I can still converse in basic Bahasa,” Rajeshvari added. - Star, 10/9/2008 -Rajeshvari and son meet her mother and sister

Come now, good guy Malaysian Indian Youth Council vice-president Andrew Raju (this is not MIC) could so easily verify the fact that she was indeed a citizen - and get her release recently. She got arrested 6-months pregnant, and when she came out she was with 10-month old baby boy.

Rajeshvari was released from the depot in Seremban on Friday after Malaysian Indian Youth Council vice-president Andrew Raju got her birth certificate details from her primary school in Kampar.- Star, 8/9/2008- Suhakam raps Immigration

It is baffling that a non-governmental organisation took only one day to verify that a suspected illegal immigrant was Malaysian when the arresting authority could not.

“They had her for a total of 11 months and they were unable to verify her claim that Rajeshvary Murugiah was a Malaysian.

“Unlike them, Andrew (Raju of the Malaysian Indian Youth Coun­cil) who met her at the clinic after she fell ill was able to confirm she was Malaysian by going to the Re­gistration Department,” said Su­­hakam commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam when contacted. - Star, 11/9/2008 -Inability to establish Rajeshvari ID baffling

At, the end of the day, it really goes down to attitude - and this "do not care" attitude of public servants and the courts is shocking. There must be a thorough investigations, and disciplinary actions must be taken against all those responsible.

I am shocked with the attitude of the Immigration Department enforcement chief Datuk Ishak Mohamed, as reported:-

However, Immigration Department enforcement chief Datuk Ishak Mohamed said that the burden of proof of citizenship was on the person suspected of being an illegal immigrant.

“The new Criminal Procedure Code also allows the suspect to make phone calls to anyone who can help,” he said, pointing out that the police had picked her up, not Immigration officials.

“But, please, don’t tell me that after 22 years, you cannot speak Bahasa Malaysia? You mean she would not know how to sing Negaraku either?” he added. - Star, 8/9/2008- Suhakam raps Immigration

So, what is he saying here? If I cannot speak Bahasa Malaysia - then I am presumed not to be a Malaysian. Hello, there are many Malaysians who are not able to speak Bahasa Melayu... (In any event, Rajeshwari did communicate in Bahasa Melayu - but they did not care - they did not believe her... You should have checked ...investigated... It is sad also that the Immigration guy is now allegedly trying to shift the blame...

When did being able to sing the Negaraku a proof of being a Malaysian citizen? Was Rajeshwari even asked to sing the national anthem? He is just talking non-sense. Wonder whether this Ishak Mohamad can sing the Negaraku - and we should maybe just detain him if he cannot sing it right. Absurd comment by a Malaysian public officer. Embarassing further because that man is the 'enforcement chief'.

I believe that there may be other Malaysians (irrespective of whether they are citizens or Permanent Residents) who are currently being detained wrongly in the Immigration Detention Centres - police lock-ups, etc....and after the Rajeshwari scandal, I have very strong basis for saying so.

What we need now if for an immediate check and verification of all persons being detained at these Detention Centres, lock-ups, remand prisons, etc

We MUST Liberate immediately all that are being wrongly may be Malaysians, those with PR status, Migrants who are here legally, Refugees, Asylum seekers..

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar needed to urgently focus his attention on this matter of great concern - not bother too much about how Anwar investigations is proceeding. I believe the police and the Immigration Department comes within his Ministry..

The courts of course comes under the Judiciary and our good old AG Ghani Patail...

I believe the Prime Minister or his Minister immediately assure us within SEVEN DAYS that in our Detention facilities in Malaysia, there no more Rajeshwari's and 10-month old babies or others wrongly detained..

SUHAKAM has the power to go and check this Detention centres - so stop just making statements. HR Commissioners shall immediately go visit ALL Detention facilities and ensure that there are currently NO ONE else being wrongfully detained.

I believe that this also is a matter for Anwar and his Pakatan Rakyat parties. They should also be concerned about this matters that affect ordinary Malaysians and/or persons - not just the taking over of the reigns of power from the BN.

Name calling and saying hurtful things is one thing - but denying wrongly the liberty of a person for over 11 months is so much more serious, I believe.

Congrats and thanks to that unidentified medical staff, who brought the matter to Andrew Raju's attention.

Thanks Andrew Raju for your care and concern that ended the injustice & suffering of Rajeshwari & 10 month old Logekali.

Thank you to the Star for highlighting this issue - giving us all the opportunity now to ensure that all those wrongfully detained be released soonest - liberated from the suffering they may have had to endure by reason of the attitude, negligence and failings of some public servants and court officials... - and of course the blame is on current BN government and its PM.


Anonymous said...

When you have such goons working at high places at departmental level, my God, we are in real trouble. People like that don't solve problems, they make them bigger!!! Real stupidity!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear CH,

Many thanks for the update and good to hear of the "liberty" granted to this poor young mother.

Guess it is time to check the infant's birth certificate for details on "Tempat Lahir" and make changes if necessary.
The "Little Napoleons" cannot say the changes cannot be made (if any)


Khun Pana aka johanssm said...

It is high time that Suhakam and NGOs to do spot checking on all detention camps.
Suhakam and related NGOs must be given such power to do their rounds .
If ordinary goons from RELA are empowered to make arrest blindly ( those who have seen the RELA in action will know this is NOT a wild accusation here )then Suhakam and related NGOs must have the authority to enter any detention place to question detainees.
We don't have to travel far , let starts with Pudu Jail ( dangwangi lockup)
There are hundreds of detainees sitting inside without knowing what they did wrong or charged for.
Most of them were never sent to court.And the way the polis "squeezes" money from them.
It is RM30 per phone call.
Again , this is NOT an accusation.
I know what i am writing in here.

As for the "imigresen direktor", he should attend a course on " Good governance and Transparency".
But on second though we are in the midst of changing the government.

Thank you Charles for the clearer info regarding this case .
Now that we know Mr. Andrew and his NGO is not related to mic.

Anonymous said...

It is happening and it will happen again. They will never learn from the lesson, cos' it is not the lesson for them to learn, the lesson is for the victim.
They will never apologize for their wrong doings and may even blame the medical staff for being a busy body for reporting the case.

Allah, please save Malaysia!

Anonymous said...

As.... usual, they'll NEVER blame themselves for their stupid blunder..!

I thought we have some high tech equipment to finger print if we are Malaysians or not.....!

All banks & goverment have this finger machine thingy. Right....?

Nooo.... compassion lah ! She was pregnant at that time & to say the goverment force have that "tidak apa atittude" is very, very, very correct.....!

Why isn't the Home Minister cleaning house?
He should fight for the rakyat's rights but instead supporting his goons...!

Why is it that we, the rakyat always see whatever that these goverment goons cannot see.......!

And think.....???

Just talk only till the cows come home...........

JeyPathySarritzu said...

Sadly this event proves that most of our civil servants have the 'tak peduli' attitude.

I have been reading in other blogs that Rajeshvari cant speak bahasa. I was shocked as dont tell me the police dept have no interpreter.You bloged differently. Thanks for that info.

CH this matter will be washed under the carpet soon and all will be mudah lupa attitude.

Sigh...thanks to the medical guy if not she will be still in detention!


DR SURESH said...

Dear Charles,

Thanks for your update on this case.When you first posted on this issue I was quite surprised that a 22yr old malaysian lady is unable to speak the malay langguage.I knew something was fishy,therefore I was actually waiting for your further update.

Now it is clear that the authorities deliberately tortured this poor lady.This whole episode smacks of racism and vengence,thats how I see it.God knows how many more such people are being detained.This is an outright abuse of human rights.And I just cant decipher the ridiculous reasons given by the chief Ishak.
Can't imagine what would have happened to this poor lady if she was deported.The govt should apologize to her and her family immediately for wrong fully detaining a legitimate citizen of the country.From legal point of view,Rajeshvari should sue the immigration dept,the police and the govt for robbing her off her freedom for 11 months leading her to give birth in detention.Wonder what has become of this once beautiful nation.