Other routes to enter country, says witness

Source: http://www.theborneopost.com/?p=27617

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Other routes to enter country, says witness

MIRI: A counter officer from the Sungai Tujuh Immigration Control Post Complex, told the Sessions Court yesterday there were other routes people could use to sneak into Malaysia.

Giving an example, Hairudin Abdul Rani, 29, the sixth prosecution witness in case of the two Sunda princesses, said the recreation park near the complex was accessible to anybody walking along the security fencing.

He testified the two princesses did not make any attempt to enter the country between July 13 and 22.

No endorsement records were found from pages one to 15 in the Sunda Empire diplomatic passports, handed by two women who approached him around 6.10am, on July 13.

Hairudin said he assumed the duo was ditolak kemasukan or prevented from entering Brunei.

He was the officer to whom the two women handed over their passports on July 13 when he was working morning shift - from 6am to 2pm.

They told him the Sultanate had refused them entry because it did not have diplomatic ties with the so-called Empire of Sunda.

The women were deported and took refuge in a hut at a recreation park along Malaysia-Brunei border near the Sungai Tujuh immigration checkpoint.

They sought refuge in the garden, thinking it was neutral and safe ground.

Hairudin admitted the women did hand over their Sunda Empire diplomatic passports and two diplomatic cards.

He said discovering that the Empire did not exist, he handed the passports to his superior, senior immigration officer, Yusuf Kiply.

The seventh prosecution witness was Syed Mohd Hasrin Tengku Hussin, a principal assistant secretary, Southeast Asia and South Pacific Division 1, from Foreign Affairs Ministry in Kuala Lumpur.

Syeds duties include monitoring the political situation and diplomatic issues in Indonesia, Brunei and Timor Leste.

He told the court he confirmed Sunda Empire did exist but it was an old empire, centred in what is now called City of Bandung, Indonesia.

However, Syed said on record, the Empire no longer existed in any part of the world, including Switzerland.

He confirmed he did receive the two diplomatic passports from the Sunda Empire sent by an immigration officer, Supiani Mohidin, on August 15.

The passports were under the names of Her imperial Majesty Count Princesses, Lamia and Fathia, the two accused.

Their place of birth was stated in the passports as Na-Ra-Ka or palace of the sun with an emblem which Syed said he was unsure of.

Based on his findings, he said on record, the Sunda Empire did not exist, and Malaysia had diplomatic ties with the Empire.

According to him, any royalty who wish to enter the country only need to use their passports, not the diplomatic cards.

Syed confirmed the Sunda Empire was not included in the list of countries with diplomatic ties with Malaysia.

The two accused, who were present in court, are Lamia Roro Wiranatadikusumah Siliwangi Al Misri, 21, and Fathia Reza Wiranatadikusumah Siliwangi Al Misiri, 23.

They face three charges under the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Amended 2002).

For the first and second charges, each faces two charges under Section 6(1)© of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for entering the country illegally.

They allegedly committed both offences around 6.10am on July 13 and 22 at the Immigration Control Post, Sungai Tujuh Miri, and on July 8 and 11 at Miri City Imperial Hotel and ParkCity Everly Hotel respectively.

The women face a third charge under Section 56(1)(f) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Amended 2002) and punishable under Section 56 (1)(aa) of the same Act for presenting to an immigration officer (Hairudin Abdul Rani) forged diplomatic passports from Sunda Empire purportedly issued in Switzerland to obtain valid passes to enter the country.

They allegedly committed the offence at 6.10am on July 13 at Sungai Tujuh Immigration Post.

The accused were arrested at about 7.30pm on July 22 at Sungai Tujuh Immigration Post and subsequently detained at Miri Central Police Station under Section 51(5)(b) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Amended 2002).

Both are further detained in Miri Central Prison in Lambir.

The hearing continues today.