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The Star Online: Nation

Raiding sites almost empty

Posted: 21 Jan 2014 03:46 PM PST

PETALING JAYA: Due to the massive publicity over the nationwide crackdown against illegal workers, many of the places visited by the enforcement personnel from the Immigration Department, the police and Rela were almost empty.

The front wall of a kongsi in Klang which was spray painted with the message that reads "besok malam orang yang kosong berhati-hati" (tomorrow night all those without documents be careful) is proof that most of the illegal workers had gone into hiding.

Selangor Immigration Operations director Othman Montil said the department usually detains over 200 illegal immigrants during unannounced raids at certain kongsi but during a visit to a kongsi in Denai Alam, near Shah Alam they only managed to detain 21 people.

"They have all probably gone into hiding as the beginning of the raid has been widely announced in the media,'' said Othman. 

Othman said the illegal foreigners hid in places that the department wouldn't generally raid such as suraus, schools and hospitals.

"Just go to the hospitals' waiting areas and you'll see many of them there,'' he said.

A closed community Facebook page Pusat Konsultasi TKI Malaysia has also been set up to help illegal workers evade arrest.

Escape routes, ways to deal with the authorities if arrested and what to bring if one needs to hide in the jungle were among the tips shared by its members. The page with over 12,800 members of various nationalities, also provides information on job opportunities in Malaysia.

In GEORGE TOWN, illegal workers in Sungai Nibong ran helter-skelter upon seeing a raiding party arriving.

Some hid under tarpaulin and wooden planks in an attempt to avoid arrest but it was all for naught as the raiding team saw through their tricks.

One even pretended to pass out while another claimed that he could not walk after falling from high ground.

Several were caught hiding in the toilets, closets and water tanks.

Penang Immigration Department enforcement assistant director Basri Othman said there was no point trying to hide from the enforcement personnel as they have seen and identified all the tactics used.

In KOTA KINABALU, a British professional without a valid working permit was among 700 foreigners netted in a swoop on illegal immigrants.

Sabah Immigration Director Noor Alam Khan said the man was believed to have misused his pass which was only for Peninsula Malaysia.

In ALOR SETAR, Kedah Immigration Department assistant deputy director Nar Azaman Ibrahim said 13 children between three and 12 were among 144 people arrested.

"We believe that the children were born in this country," he said.

In KUANTAN, some illegal workers used the excuse of needing to answer the nature's call while others pretended not to understand Bahasa Malaysia in their attempts to escape.

In total, 261 illegal foreign workers were arrested in the state.

Related stories:

Crackdown affecting businesses

A midnight swoop that was filled with drama

Over a thousand immigrants detained on first day of ops

Government gave ample warning to register workers

‘Anwar did not follow procedure’

Posted: 21 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was denied entry into Japan because the recent visa abolishment for Malaysians is not applicable to former convicts.

As Anwar had been convicted in 1999, he should have applied for a visa or filed an appeal for special permission to enter Japan upon arrival at the airport, said a Japan Embassy senior official.

Anwar, he said, had neither applied for a visa, nor exercised his other option of filing an appeal at the airport.

"All this unnecessary hassle could have been averted had Anwar followed procedure in accordance with the Japanese Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act," said the official.

He said this in response to Anwar's claim that he was forced to leave Japan immediately after arriving at the Narita Airport on Sunday morning.

The Embassy official said the visa abolishment for Malaysians that took effect in July last year was only applicable to ordinary people who had not been convicted or imprisoned for more than a year

"In the case of Anwar, he was arrested in 1998 for corruption when he was serving as the Deputy Prime Minister, and was sentenced to six years in prison (for abuse of power).

"All those legal things had been explained to Anwar at the Narita Airport on Jan 19.

"After the explanation, Anwar did not exercise his option to file an appeal to get special permission to enter Japan.

He instead decided to return to Malaysia," he said, adding that it can take up to two days to process such an appeal.

On Anwar's claim that he had no problem entering Japan in the past even after the 1999 conviction, the official said Anwar had then applied for visa in April 2011 and June 2012.

"But, Anwar did not submit any written request for visa application prior to his recent travel to Japan.

"If we had known he (Anwar) is visiting Japan, and had his office submitted a letter of application before hand, this (problem) would not have happened," he said, adding they could have granted permission based on diplomatic consideration.

On Anwar's claim that his office had sought clearance from the Japanese Embassy in Malaysia, the official said they could not trace any written request.

The official also expressed disappointment against a group of Anwar supporters who burnt placards bearing the Japanese flag when staging a protest outside the Embassy yesterday.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil, however, is insisting that Anwar did make enquiries to the embassy and the Japanese Foreign Ministry regarding the special permission but was told that he would not need it.

Too few DPPs to handle caseload

Posted: 21 Jan 2014 03:37 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Criminal appeals have gone up by over 300% since 2010 because of judicial reform but there are only 25 deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) to handle the increased caseload.

Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had revealed the startling number of DPPs in the Chamber's Appellate and Trial Division during his speech at the Opening of the Legal Year in Putrajaya.

He said 861 appeals had been filed at the Court of Appeal (COA) and Federal Court in 2010.

Judicial efforts to tackle the backlog of criminal cases kept the number of appeals rising in subsequent years: 2,481 in 2011; 2,716 in 2012; and 2,833 in 2013.

Assuming one case per DPP, a DPP who averaged 34 appeals in 2010 would be juggling 113 cases last year.

While there has been increase of judges in the High Court and appellate courts, Abdul Gani said there had not been a comparable increase in the number of DPPs handling these appeals.

"It would be useful if the AGC was made aware of court expansion plans to enable the necessary manpower adjustments to be made in advance."

Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong agreed: "A-G needs time to train DPPs sufficiently to meet projected workloads."

"He can't pull DPPs out of a hat!" said Leong in an interview.

"In the meantime, consideration should be given to the constraints on manpower when fixing appeals."

Leong said the objective of clearing the backlog, particularly of criminal matters, was a welcome one because people should not be languishing in remand awaiting trial.

"Justice is best served when the administration of justice is efficient in fixing cases/appeals for hearing, where judges have sufficient time to look at the cases, the public prosecutor performing a public interest function has sufficient time to prepare the case and lawyers are afforded sufficient and reasonable time to prepare the defence.

"The latter three would be difficult to achieve if the volume of work that is placed on each of them creates a constraint on their time and resources."

Leong said that any initiative to improve the system should involve all the stakeholders so that practical issues could be addressed.

He cited the time when the judiciary wanted to address the backlog of criminal cases in Penang by increasing the number of courts handling criminal matters a few years back.

"It was not the right solution for Penang because the number of lawyers practising at the criminal Bar there was a relatively small number.

"It would not have resulted in a faster disposal or disposal of more criminal cases because of insufficient lawyers."

Unlike other civil servants, DPPs are employed by the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

In his speech at the opening on Jan 11, Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria said the judiciary's commitment to uphold the rule of law and to dispense justice without fear or favour, would be meaningless if there was excessive delay in the justice delivery system.

Congratulating the president and judges of the COA which has at least two or three panels sitting at a time to deal with the bottleneck, Arifin had added that their aim in 2014 was to reduce the waiting period for capital cases to less than 18 months and for those involving government servants to less than a year.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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