Lawyer Harrison Ngau, who is also a PKR local leader, is detained for 30 minutes at the Kuching airport.
KUCHING: Lawyer Harrison Ngau, who is considered a ‚Äúthreat‚ÄĚ to Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and his government for the past 32 years for exposing corruption, abuse of power and for his anti-logging stand, was detained by the police and immigration officers upon arrival from Kuala Lumpur last night.
‚ÄúSoon after my arrival from Kuala Lumpur where I attended the Pakatan Rakyat convention and the launching of Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto, I was ushered to a police special room by an immigration officer.
‚ÄúThere were police and immigration officers who questioned the nature of my visit to Kuala Lumpur, who did I meet and talk to. I told them that I attended the Pakatan convention and at the same time to meet some senior lawyer friends regarding my land case,‚ÄĚ said the chairman of the Baram PKR division.
Relating his ordeal, Ngau said that when he presented his ID card at the counter, he saw the female immigration officer’s expression change.
‚ÄúSo I guessed something must be wrong as she started to call her superior officers. I saw on the computer screen letters printed in bold red marked ‚Äėsecret‚Äô. Then I asked whether there was a problem, they told me that I have a police case.
‚ÄúI told them that I never received any notice from the police. I have never been charged with any offence. They told me to go into a police room. There was a SB [Special Branch] officer on duty. He asked me to sit, while he made telephone calls. I believe he was consulting his superior officer and I overheard him mentioning Bukit Aman [police headquarters].
‚ÄúWhen he came back, he told me about a directive from the state security committee that my movements should be monitored,‚ÄĚ he added.
Taib is the chairman of the state security committee.
Ngau said he was detained for 30 minutes before being allowed to leave and this was not the first time. The last was on Aug 2, 2010 at the Kuching Airport before he proceeded to Kuala Lumpur.
‚ÄúAfter the last detention, I thought everything was all right,‚ÄĚ he said.
He believed that his movements were being monitored since 1981 when he was involved with Sahabat Alam Marudi.
‚ÄúI was involved in exposing corruption, abuse of power and exploitation of the natives. I was involved in anti-logging activities. I help those affected by logging activities.
‚ÄúI am also now involved in native customary rights [NCR] land cases where I am protecting the interest of native landowners whose lands have been taken away by the authorities and leased to plantation companies,‚ÄĚ he said.
In 1987, Ngau was among those arrested under Operation Lalang and detained for 60 days under the now defunct Internal Security Act.
After his release, he was placed under Restricted Residence for two years.
In 1990, he won the Baram parliamentary seat as an independent candidate and later joined Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS).
Even though, he and PBDS were in the Barisan Nasional, Taib as chairman of the state security committee refused to lift the monitoring of his movements.