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Press Release

Police, Immigration and AG need to answer over injustice suffered by Vietnamese woman

Mar 25, 2021

Police, Immigration and Attorney General’s Chambers need to answer over injustice suffered by Vietnamese woman

1. Many are outraged over how a Vietnamese woman who is legally married to a local was treated by a police officer and also subsequent authorities who handled her case after she was arrested.

2. Tran Thi Thoai Trin’s crime – if we can call it that, was she had allegedly failed to register with the My Sejahtera app before going into a restaurant. The nightmare started immediately after that for the 25-year old mother of one who is married to a Malaysian property agent.

3. She was promptly produced before a magistrate where the arresting officer somehow managed to justify asking for two weeks to place her at a detention centre while he verified her documents.

4. Shockingly the magistrate allowed the Klang Utara police’s application without any fuss. The remand application was approved even though the simple task of ascertaining whether her documents are valid can be done within hours.

5. Tran was subsequently packed off to the Immigration Depot in Sepang, which is a centre designated for illegal migrants. This was done despite Tran’s husband producing all the necessary, original documents for the police to verify.

6. Tran’s nightmare only ended on Tuesday after she was taken to the Klang magistrate’s court where she pleaded guilty and paid a fine of RM350. She was only released three days before the expiry of the 14-day remand order.

7. Another controversy has since erupted after a Deputy Public Prosecutor informed Trans’s lawyer that her case was not compoundable as it involved a foreigner. However, A health ministry official has since expressed surprise over the DPP’s statement and asked Tran to file a complaint.

8. I, along with my fellow Malaysians, am outraged at how the authorities handled Tran’s case. It is clearly an injustice which no one should endure.

9. As we speak about Tran’s case, I am reminded about another similar incident which happened in 2019 when a Nigerian student, Orhions Ewansiha Thomas ended up dead in a detention centre after an unnecessary delay by the Immigration Department to verify his status as a student in the country.

10. Malaysians are known as hospitable people. We should be treating our guests with immense respect, something which is not only the right thing to do but also an obligation. What Tran had to endure is totally unacceptable.

11. I believe the Inspector General of Police, and Immigration Department especially need to clear the air on why they need up to two weeks to verify the documentation of foreigners in this day and age. The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) too must explain the DPP’s statement on such cases involving foreigners.

12. Malaysia’s reputation in the eyes of the world is at stake here. We cannot afford to treat foreigners ( and not forgetting Malaysians) this way if we want them to come here and give us the much needed tourism money.

Baljit Singh

Gerakan Vice President