Think Centre urges Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist two Singaporeans in unlawful extended detention in Malaysia

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Posted by Think Centre under Human Rights Watch, ASEAN Watch on 29 June 2017

Think Centre is concerned about the prolonged detention of two Singaporean females, Ms. Quek Chin Fern and Ms. Cheryl Lim, in Johor’s Kluang Prison. They were arrested earlier this month on 19 June 2017 for shoplifting offences and were both sentenced to serve one day of imprisonment on 22 June 2017. However, despite completing their sentence, they have yet to be released by the prison authorities due to the Immigration Department of Malaysia’s intervening to extend their detention. Ms. Quek has reportedly suffered a dislocated arm since her detention however no adequate medical attention has been provided by the Malaysian authorities. It is also disturbing to learn that the Singapore’s High Commission has reportedly expressed reluctance to provide the necessary consular assistance to Ms. Quek and Ms. Lim on the basis of non-interference with another country’s matters.

Think Centre is concerned about the prolonged detention of two Singaporean females, Ms. Quek Chin Fern and Ms. Cheryl Lim, in Johor’s Kluang Prison. They were arrested earlier this month on 19 June 2017 for shoplifting offences and were both sentenced to serve one day of imprisonment on 22 June 2017. However, despite completing their sentence, they have yet to be released by the prison authorities due to the Immigration Department of Malaysia’s intervening to extend their detention.

SUARAM, a Malaysian human rights organisation that is providing assistance to the pair, has protested at the illegality of the extended detention. They also noted that Ms. Quek has reportedly suffered a dislocated arm since her detention however no adequate medical attention has been provided by the Malaysian authorities. It is also disturbing to learn that the Singapore’s High Commission has reportedly expressed reluctance to provide the necessary consular assistance to Ms. Quek and Ms. Lim on the basis of non-interference with another country’s matters.

Think Centre trusts that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will treat all Singaporeans in distressed situations fairly regardless of the circumstances. We urge them to provide the necessary consular assistance to secure Ms. Quek and Ms. Lim’s immediate release. They should also ensure Ms. Quek receives the required medical attention from the Malaysian authorities.

News coverage and press statements on their plight and treatment by the Malaysian authorities are available as follows:

1. http://www.suaram.net/?p=8367

2. http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/06/26/suaram-condemns-illegal-detention-of-2-singaporeans/

3. http://m.thesundaily.my/node/456106

4. http://www.zaobao.com.sg/znews/singapore/story20170627-774517


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