Singaporean sues for wrongful conviction, inhumane treatment

Singaporean Wong Chun Khuen wants the High Court to set aside his RM30,000 fine or six month’s jail term imposed by the Sessions Court.

KUALA LUMPUR: A Singaporean, who allegedly breached Malaysian immigration laws, has filed a criminal motion in the High Court here to set aside his conviction.

Wong Chun Khuen also wants the court to quash the RM30,000 fine or six month’s jail term imposed by the Sessions Court.

In the motion filed through legal firm Messrs Arun Kasi & Co on Tuesday, Wong said he was denied access to legal consultation in breach of Article 5 of Federal Constitution.

Her said he was punished for an offence that is not provided for under the law and this is in violation of Article 7 of the constitution.

Wong, who named the public prosecutor as respondent, said he was denied equal protection of basic human liberties accorded under the supreme law of Malaysia.

A case management has been fixed before a High Court registrar on Aug 6.

In his affidavit in support of the motion, Wong said he was arrested in Nusa Jaya, Johor on Feb 28 last year on suspicion of harbouring six illegal immigrants under section 55E of the Immigration Act.

The Singapore church worker, who owned a house under the “Malaysia My Second Home” programme, said he allowed his bungalow to be used for charitable purposes, as accommodation for needy and old folk.

He said he did not reside there but occasionally visited the place.

Wong said that on Feb 28, when he went to the house to do some repairs, immigration officers raided the premises at about 11pm and arrested him.

“They suspected that I was the occupier of the house and allowed illegal immigrants to enter and remain in the premises,” he said in the affidavit sighted by FMT.

Wong said his wife later appointed a lawyer but he was unable to freely talk to the counsel as wardens at the Pekan Nenas immigration centre monitored him.

During the detention, he claimed to have suffered cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment that has been set out in the affidavit.

On March 26, after 26 days under arrest, Wong was produced before a Sessions Court judge where he pleaded guilty to the charge as he could not afford to risk further detention.

He was fined RM30,0000, which he paid.

On May 28, another Singaporean had also sued the Immigration Department, seeking RM2.67 million in compensation over what he claimed was unlawful arrest and inhumane treatment during his 37-day detention in October last year.

Puis Gilbert Louis, 68, claimed that the treatment he received during his detention amounted to “torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment”.

In the statement of claim filed on May 28, he said the department had breached international conventions and Articles 5 and 7(1) of the constitution.