S'poreans in 'nude squat' case to give written account

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement regarding the case of the two Singaporean women who were recently detained in Malaysia.

"We welcome the quick announcement of the Malaysian authorities of an immediate investigation into the ill-treatment of the two Singaporeans at the Pekan Nenas Detention Centre. The allegations made by the two Singaporeans are serious and raise concerns".

"The two Singaporeans have told MFA that they will provide us with a written account of what transpired. As soon as we receive it, we will give their statement to the Malaysian High Commission. Hopefully this will help the Malaysian investigators come to a quick conclusion. We will closely monitor the outcome of the official investigation".

Asked about previous cases of Singaporeans who had encountered problems on leaving Malaysia, the MFA Spokesman confirmed that there had been several previous cases of Singaporeans who had reported that their passports were not stamped at Malaysian Immigration checkpoints and who had thus encountered difficulties on exit.

The Spokesman added, "We remind all Singaporeans travelling to Malaysia, and in particular those travelling to Johor by road, to be vigilant and ensure that their passports are stamped at entry and exit by the Malaysian Immigration authorities".

In the most recent case, the women were arrested at the Sultan Iskandar Immigration checkpoint in Johor Baru on June 9.

According to various media reports, they were told to strip, perform 10 squats and jailed for the night before being released at about 5pm the following day.

An investigation board in Malaysia, known as the Malaysian Immigration Special Investigation Board (LPKIM), is now probing whether the arrests were done according to the law, according to Immi­gration director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad.

In a statement yesterday, he said: "The board will make recommendations for the department to carry out."