JOHOR BARU: It was to be a fun night at an entertainment joint for a couple, but in the middle of a karaoke session, some policemen barged into the place and arrested the wife.
Lim Wei Siang, 39, showed the law enforcers photocopies of documents that prove 26-year-old Zhao Yan, from China, was married to him.
Ignoring his plea, the policemen led Zhao Yan out of the joint at Jalan Dato Abdullah Tahir here and detained her at the Johor Baru central police station on March 22.
It was the start of a long nightmare for the woman – 14 days in the police lockup and another 12 days at the Pekan Nenas immigration detention centre.
“She cries every night,” Lim said at a press conference at the Chinese Press Club here yesterday. “She told me that she was forced to wash the toilets and floor, and dry the clothes of detainees. She had to sleep on the wooden floor with 70 other detainees.”
Lim said a day after his wife was detained, he went to the central police station with the original copies of his marriage documents.
“The police officers there still refused to release her,” he said.
He then turned to Permas Jaya people’s complaints bureau supervisor Syed Othman Syed Abdullah and the case was brought to welfare advisory organisation Persatuan Kebajikan Progressive Bersatu Malaysia.
Together with Syed Othman and organisation official Mohd Adam Rao Abdullah, Lim went back to the police station three days later. But it was too late.
“Zhao has been sent to the Pekan Nenas immigration detention centre, from where she would be deported back to China,” said Lim.
With the help of Syed Othman and Mohd Adam, Lim went to the detention centre and pleaded for his wife’s release. Zhao was finally freed, but is in a state of shock. Lim said he had been married to her for a year.
Syed Othman said he was compiling details of the case for submission to the Public Complaints Department and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
“The couple is considering taking legal action against the officers involved,” he said.
Johor Baru South police chief Asst Comm Sulaiman Salleh said investigations would be conducted “fairly, firmly and without prejudice”.