PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The directive to demolish the temporary transit camps found in Wang Kelian, Perlis in 2015 was not intended to destroy evidence, says former Perlis deputy police chief Asst Comm (Rtd) Md Zukir Md Isa.
He said the directive issued during a police chief monthly meeting, chaired by him on Jan 20, 2015, was to ensure that the illegal immigrants could no longer use the transit camps in the future.
The order, he said, was given after a briefing by General Operations Force (GOF) Battalion 3, Company B commander, ASP M. Joeking.
In that meeting attended by Padang Besar district police chief Supt Rizani Che Ismail, the National Security Council and several other security agencies, Joeking informed them of the discovery of the temporary transit camps and detention of 38 illegals.
ACP Md Zukir, the 13th witness of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the discovery of the temporary transit camps and mass graves in Wang Kelian, said that in the meeting Joeking also informed them of the existence of the grave-like structures.
Following that, he ordered further investigations to be carried out to ascertain what were buried there.
According to ACP Md Zukir, based on the rules, his directive at the meeting was to establish what was buried in the piece of land resembling a grave before demolishing the camps.
“According to this sequence and instructions given to destroy certain parts of the camps first, I was made to understand that this was to ensure that the illegal immigrants would not be able to re-occupy the camps.
“My area of focus (was to) establish what exactly the piece of land resembling a grave was, and to make sure the camps cannot be re-occupied by illegals, meaning not demolishing the entire place, but only certain parts such as the canvas roofed areas,” he said.
He added that no objections and suggestions were raised over his instructions during the meeting.
ACP Md Zukir said Joeking's team demolished more than what had been instructed on Jan 21, 2015, probably because they were unclear about his instructions as Joeking's actual task was more on operations rather than investigation.
ACP Md Zukir, who retired as Kuala Muda district police chief in 2017, said Perlis police chief Datuk Zul Aznan Haron was informed of the details of the briefing and instructions issued, after the meeting at about 1pm.
“I also informed him of the discovery of the grave-like structures of which no further instructions were given and to my understanding, he (Perlis police chief) agreed with the instructions which I had issued,” he said.
When questioned by former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai whether there was coordination between the security forces in handling the case, ACP Md Zukir said in the early stages, there was lack of coordination between the police, GOF and other agencies in conducting the investigations. – Bernama