KUALA LUMPUR: Acting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has directed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Norain Mai to conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged mistreatment of Indian nationals by the police during a raid on Sunday.
“I have already asked Norian Mai to conduct a thorough investigation two or three days ago and submit a report to me on Monday,” he said.
He said a special police team would conduct the investigations.
“Despite statements by the police and the Bukit Aman enforcement director, I feel that an investigation should be conducted by a special team instead of the enforcement team that acted on a report lodged by the public,” said Abdullah, who also expressed regret over the allegations.
“We have to obtain the actual information. We cannot be too emotional in this matter. What's important is that we investigate the allegations in a calm manner,” he told reporters after chairing the Barisan Nasional management committee meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.
On Indian media reports that the Indian Government plans to review some of its existing bilateral agreements as a retaliatory measure against Malaysia in protest against the alleged ill-treatment, Abdullah said:
“The Indian Government had the right to do anything it wishes, but we (Malaysia) will not reach that stage. To us, the question of reviewing bilateral agreement should not arise. We need to get the actual information on whether the allegation came from the Indian workers or those representing them.
“I only hear allegations from one party, I need to obtain a report from the police on what actually happened.”
Police picked up more than 150 Indian nationals, mostly IT professionals, on grounds that they were suspected to be using forged travel documents.
Police have denied claims that the foreigners were mistreated.
Abdullah said raids were also conducted against other illegal immigrant workers from other countries.
On another development, Abdullah said he had asked the Attorney-General to re-evaluate the case involving a Filipino worker Andy Baguindah, who was convicted of drug trafficking and illegal possession of arms following a request from the Philippine Government.
He said he had met with a representative sent by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who requested the execution of the case be postponed and Baguindah be given due process of law.
“They have asked us whether the matter could be postponed and the case could be re-evaluated to see if all legal avenues have been exhausted.
“I told them that what is happening at this stage is the result of the process of law. We have given the accused the chance to get a defence counsel. But we will give them another chance to satisfy them to ensure that nothing is overlooked in this case.”
In Bagan Serai, Foreign Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar said the Indian Government should give the Malaysian Government adequate time to get to the bottom of the alleged mistreatment.
“Give us the chance to investigate and take the appropriate actions on those responsible so that this matter will not drag on,” he said.
“We are not happy this incident has happened for we welcome (foreign) professionals in our country and that's why I agreed to see the (Indian) High Commissioner (Veena Sikri) early today,” he told reporters after speaking at a gathering to explain current issues organised by Umno Larut division in Salam near here yesterday.