Sun, Dec 27, 2009
The New Paper
Night at a karaoke lounge turns into nightmare

WHENEVER she goes out, she doesn't feel safe, especially after her release from detention.

When she sees patrol cars near her hostel, she feels scared.

China national Li Jun Jie, a 23-year-old MBA student from Beijing, was picked up by the Malaysian police on 30 Nov in an anti-vice raid. She was on a night out with local friends in a karaoke outlet in Subang Jaya, Klang Valley.

In an interview with liberal news portal Malaysiakini, Ms Li cried foul over what she alleged was the profiling of foreign women by the authorities, discrimination and bad treatment.

She described in detail her eight days of hell in detention.

"Why don't they inspect passports of women from other countries? They only target Chinese, Thai and African women (on suspicion of prostitution)," she told Malaysiakini.

"You think that their countries are not rich, but every country has an upper class and working class. You cannot view these countries with a tinted lens," she said.


She said that the ordeal had left her frightened and she avoids leaving her hostel because she fears that she may be arrested again.

Ms Li, whom Sin Chew Daily reported to be active in poetry circles in China, has blogged extensively about her experience in detention, which has attracted a flood of angry comments from both mainland Chinese and Malaysians.

She claimed that she was denied a phone call while she was in detention.

Ms Li added that she managed to contact her school " International University College of Technology Twintech (IUCTT)" only on the second day of detention.

The school responded on the third day by furnishing documents which proved her status as a student to the police. However, she was released only on 8 Dec.

On her experience in the lockup, Ms Li said that she was worried about the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in certain areas, such as the cell toilet.

She also claimed that there were cameras in the rooms where body searches were done.

"We weren't naked but we had to lift our shirts. We were not allowed to wear underclothes... At the time, I wondered if it was a woman officer in the surveillance room."

Ms Li said she was familiar with the 2005 "nude squat" furore and was worried that compromising visuals of her would end up on the Internet.

In 2005, a video footage showing a woman in uniform instructing a Chinese- looking naked woman to do ear squats was circulated online. It caused an uproar, The Star reported.

Expressed disgust

Ministers and members of parliament expressed disgust with the way the naked woman was treated after they were shown the clip.

Meanwhile, Ms Li wrote in her blog about how she befriended other inmates, many of whom were foreigners, and described the conditions of the lockup.

She claimed that the food was a small packet of rice wrapped in newspapers, salted fish and a drink.

Ms Li called the drink a "red liquid that cannot be named".

She also described as "deplorable" the state of hygiene inside the lockup, where detainees were not given plates and they had to sleep on damp floors.

Ms Li said she had filed complaints about the incident with the Chinese embassy and her school.

However, she said that she will complete her MBA programme in Malaysia, but has scrapped plans to pursue a doctorate there because of the incident.

Meanwhile, Subang Jaya district police chief ACP Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar said the police released Ms Li after it was verified that she was a legitimate student, reported Sin Chew Daily.

He said that after he had explained the procedures and regulations to her, she was "very happy".


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