Wang Kelian RCI: Panel doubts credibility of police witness

One of the camps found in Wang Kelian.

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PUTRAJAYA — April 24, 2019: The panel has decided that the credibility of fifth witness DSP M. Joeking Maniam Anthony should be reviewed after it was informed that the office had been suspended from work effective March 1.

RCI chairman Tun Arifin Zakaria came to this conclusion on being informed that Anthony was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission into a corruption case. This position was agreed by the panel’s deputy chairman Tan Sri Norian Mai who said a review was important because it involved the credibility of the witness.

The latest information on Anthony was given by ACP Wan Hamzah Wan Kadir, the Bidor PGA Battalion 3 commander. Anthony is the PGA northern brigade Battalion 3 company B commander. Anthony was arrested in 2015 in connection with the smuggling of diesel, rice and ketum leaves.

Wan Hamzah also refuted Anthony’s testimony that he was prohibited from participating in the investigations on a superior’s directive.

According to Wan Hamzah, the prohibition was not related to the discovery of the transit camps and mass graves at Bukit Wang Burma. A letter prohibiting Anthony from being involved in any operation was issued after his arrest.

Wan Hamzah said Anthony also went against the PGA general orders when he had on him a mobile phone while conducting a survey at the camps.

Demolition of camps not meant to destroy evidence

Also during today’s hearing, a retired police officer maintained that the directive to demolish the illegal immigrants’ camps in Wang Kelian in 2915 was not intended to destroy evidence.

Instead the directive issued during a police chief monthly meeting was to ensure that the illegal immigrants could no longer use the camps.

According to former Perlis deputy police chief, retired ACP Md. Zukir Md. Isa, the order was given after a briefing by Anthony.

At the meeting attended by Padang Besar OCPD Supt. Rizani Che Ismail, the National Security Council and other security agencies, Anthony informed about the discovery of the camps and detention of 38 illegals.

Based on regulations, Zukir said his directive at the meeting was to establish what was buried in the land resembling a grave before demolishing the camps.

“My focus was to establish what exactly was that land which resembled a grave and to make sure the camps could not be re-occupied,” he testified, adding that no objections and suggestions were raised pertaining to the instruction.

He added that Anthony’s team demolished more than what had been instructed probably because they were unclear about his instruction.

When questioned by Norian whether there was coordination between the security forces, Zukir agreed that in the early stages there was lack of coordination in conducting the investigations. — Bernama



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