Selva Kumar is a free man here, say cops

selva-kumar1Selva-Kumar2GEORGE TOWN: Former convict Selva Kumar Subbiah, who arrived in Malaysia this morning after serving 24 years in a Canadian prison for sexual crimes, is a free man.

Police cannot restrict his movements or detain the man, dubbed ‘Canada’s worst rapist’, unless he does something wrong, Penang police chief Chuah Ghee Lye said.

“There are no provisions that say we can simply detain him. To detain a person under the law, he or she must have committed a crime.

“If there is a report against him, we will investigate, given his past record.

“But we cannot ban him from coming to Penang if he wishes. He is a citizen of the country,” he told reporters today.

Chuah was asked to comment on the Sabah government putting Selva Kumar on its immigration blacklist, banning him from entering the Borneo state.

In a statement today, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman said Selva Kumar was not welcome in Sabah because “he could potentially pose a danger to the public, especially women and children”.

Sabah and its neighbour Sarawak both have immigration autonomy powers, allowing the state governments to prevent certain people, even fellow Malaysians from the peninsula, from entering the states.

Penang police chief Chuah Ghee Lye (second right) says police cannot do anything to Selva Kumar if he does not violate the law.
Penang police chief Chuah Ghee Lye (second right) says police cannot do anything to Selva Kumar if he does not violate the law.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) senior vice-chairman Lee Lam Thye said in the interest of public safety, Selva Kumar should be put under police observation.

“The problem is we still don’t have a sexual offenders registry. We don’t know if they (convicts) are around us,” he told reporters after a meeting on crime prevention with the Penang police.

It was reported that Selva Kumar will stay in Kuala Lumpur with family for the time being. It was previously reported that he might return to Penang, where he lived and attended school before leaving to further his studies in Canada.

Selva Kumar was jailed for 24 years in Canada for 19 counts of sexual assault, 28 counts of administering a drug or noxious substance, 10 counts of various kinds of assault, and a dozen other charges, including extortion.

His return to Malaysia had renewed calls for the government to come up with a sexual offender registry.