DAP MP: Suhakam must probe Ewansiha’s death

DAP MP: Suhakam must probe Ewansiha’s death

PUCHONG: DAP MP Charles Santiago urged Suhakam to hold a public inquiry to investigate the death of Nigerian doctorate student, Orhions Ewansiha Thomas at the hands of the Malaysian Immigration Department.

Speaking to The Leaders Online, the Klang backbencher also urged Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to issue a statement on the matter.

“There is a need to review the standard operating procedure (SOP) followed by the Immigration Department.

“Even those with legitimate documents are getting caught. I believe this is because of the high level of corruption existing in the police and Immigration Department,” he said.

Yesterday, Ewansiha, Nigerian doctorate student from Lim Kok Wing University, was found dead after a seizure while being held in custody by the Immigration Department

 He was detained on July 5 by the Immigration officials despite having valid documents.

Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud defended Ewansiha’s detention, saying the agency followed SOP in the apprehending the Nigerian.

However, DAP MP Charles Santiago fired back at Khairul, telling the latter to explain why Ewansiha was detained despite him possessing valid documents.

The Nigerian High Commission in Malaysia and the Nigerian Diaspora Commission are also calling for the Malaysian authorities to come clean on Ewansiha’s death.

The Immigration Department also came under fire this month for detaining even toddlers in its detention centres, denying their mothers access to the children.

Last week, US singer Maggie Lindemann said she was put in ‘living hell’ after immigration officials detained her for not having the proper permits for a performance in Kuala Lumpur.

On Ewansiha’s case, Santiago said that the Immigration Department could have just called the student’s university, Lim Kok Wing University, to verify Ewansiha’s status if they had wanted to.

“Ewansiha’s death shows that detainees have no access to emergency healthcare if something goes wrong,” he said.

Santiago added that the Immigration Department’s latest gaffe is sending a wrong signal to the international community, especially foreign students studying in Malaysia an those who intend to study here.

“Foreign students here are now living in fear and stress due to the latest incident.

“Foreigners who plan to study in Malaysia will now think twice before coming here. This will be a great loss to Malaysian universities and dent our revenue from the education sector,” he said.

By G Vinod