Cambodian minister meets detained Malaysians in Poipet

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Minister in the Cambodian Prime Minister’s Department, Oknha Datuk Dr Othsman Hassan has met all 47 Malaysians detained at Poipet, to listen to and see for himself the plight they are in.

He had made the journey to Poi Pet, about 446km from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

NGO Antarabangsa chairman, Datuk Dr Mustapha Ahmad Marican said during the meeting on Tuesday, Othsman had heard their complaints and the difficulties they had to put with, and was prepared to assist them while in detention.

“According to Othsman, he was informed that they were all lured by job offers at hotels in the Siem Reap tourist area. But when they arrived there, the employment agent had taken their passports and mobile phones and they had no contact with family and friends,” Mustapha told Bernama from Phnom Penh.

He said Othsman had agreed to bring the matter up to the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen soon and would try to resolve the case as soon as possible.

Member of Parliament for Julau Larry Sng Wei Shien speaks at a press conference. – BERNAMA

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Julau Larry Sng Wei Shien and a group of media and family representatives had left for Cambodia from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) yesterday morning to visit 47 Malaysians detained in the country since December 11.

Sng said upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport at 8am local time, the delegation which was also accompanied by a medical officer would be going on a two-hour journey to the prison in Poipet.

“I was informed an embassy representative will be assisting the delegation to obtain approval from the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Prison to visit all 47 detainees,” he told Bernama News Channel yesterday.

On the two-day visit, Sng said he would be collecting as much information as possible on the cases faced by the youths aged between 18 and 21.

“I want to see their conditions for myself and obtain a clearer picture on the situation faced by all the victims. My presence at the prison is to assist family members obtain information quickly on their children who were believed to have been victimised by a syndicate,” he said.

“Apart from that, I have also brought a medical officer to carry out simple treatment for those in need of medical care as there was a report earlier that a sick Malaysian detainee who had to undergo stomach surgery,” he said.

According to him, the process of bringing them back may take time as it would be subject to the laws of Cambodia. However the 47 detainees should be given the opportunity to defend themselves as they were victimised by irresponsible parties.

Last Thursday, Sng in a media conference revealed that 47 Malaysians believed to be victims of a human trafficking syndicate were held at a prison in the country.

According to him, they were detained without trial and the Malaysian embassy there was not informed of their arrests.