Officials Stand By Treatment Of Cooks

05/08/2003

The Immigration Service is standing by its treatment of three Malaysian cooks who were refused entry into the country.
The Kuala Lumpur residents claim they were strip-searched, locked up for a night then deported when they arrived here for a 10-day visit last month.
They have complained to their government and want an apology from New Zealand.
But the Immigration Service says after interviewing the men their officers formed the view they may breach the conditions of a visitor's permit.
The Service says it is not unusual to refuse entry to foreigners who say they are only here to holiday.



M'sians Stripped In New Zealand Write To Wisma Putra

MELAKA, Aug 4 (Bernama) -- Three Malaysians who claimed that they were stripped naked while undergoing thorough inspection by New Zealand authorities while visiting that country on July 19, had sent a letter to Wisma Putra Monday.
Liew Eng Teck, who also spoke on behalf of his two friends, Tan Teck Hing and How Ah Wan, said they had sent the letter by facsimile to Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and said that such an incident should not have happened.
"We are also touched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad's sensitivity on the matter. However, we hope the New Zealand government will make an open apology with regard to the incident," he said at a media conference, here Monday.
Liew, from Rumah Pangsa Taman Asean, Malim; Tan, from No 24, Jalan Bayan 6, Taman Bukit Katil, and How from No. 24, Jalan Seri Duyong, Duyong claimed that they went through stringent checks, including being asked to strip naked while in that country.
All three, who work as cooks in a restaurant here, had planned to visit New Zealand for 10 days and had purchased return tickets.
Liew said they had arrived at Auckland International Airport separately on July 19, and were examined and interviewed several times by Immigration officers who were suspicious of the purpose of their visit there.
He said they were sent back to Malaysia on the next morning (July 20), after being placed in a lock-up overnight in that country.
He said they were disappointed with the action of the immigration authorities, Customs and police there who had asked them to strip naked, had their finger prints taken, placed them in a lock-up and were only given food and drinks after several requests had been made.
On Sunday, Dr Mahathir expressed sadness over the incident and said that Malaysians should not have been treated in that manner because most of the people in this country were responsible people.
Meanwhile, Syed Hamid said the government would look into the allegation and if it was true, then it had violated human rights and world ethics.
-- BERNAMA