2 earlier witnesses ‘problematic’, one arrested by MACC, RCI into mass graves told

ACP Wan Hamzah Wan Kadir (front) leaves the home ministry after taking the stand at the RCI into the mass graves in Wang Kelian.

PUTRAJAYA: The royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the mass graves and human trafficking camps in Wang Kelian was today told that one of the police officers who earlier gave evidence is under suspension following a graft probe.

The commander of Battalion 3 of the General Operations Force (GOF), ACP Wan Hamzah Wan Kadir, said ASP Joeking Marian Anthony, the commander of Company B at the battalion, had been under the radar of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) since 2011 and was detained for questioning in 2015 and 2019.

Joeking was the fifth witness to take the stand at the RCI called by the government to find out the truth about the mass graves discovered in Wang Kelian, Perlis, three years ago.

Wan Hamzah, the 14th witness, also denied claims by another witness, DSP Sivanganam Thirumugam, that he had been put in cold storage following the discovery of the graves.

Sivanganam, who was the ground commander overseeing operations in the Wang Kelian and Wang Burma raid, previously told the inquiry that his superior called “Dato’ Nasir” had forbidden him from joining in any other operation of the GOF after that incident.

He told the RCI that prior to being taken off operations, he had written a report detailing information from a source about the involvement of locals in the smuggling of immigrants through the border.

Wan Hamzah denied that Sivanganam was taken off operations due to the discovery of graves or his report, saying there was no “black and white letter” to this effect.

However, he said an official letter was sent to Joeking and a few other officers whom he did not name, restricting them from operations at the border.

He said the restriction on Joeking was related to the detention of the latter by MACC on March 2, 2015.

“MACC had come to Battalion 3 headquarters in Bidor, Perak, to arrest ASP Joeking, four other senior officers and a few officers. I was the witness, and it had nothing to do with Wang Burma,” he said.

He said the arrest was said to be related to the smuggling of diesel, rice and ketum.

He added that Joeking was arrested again in March 2019 and that he had been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

He claimed that Joeking and Sivanganam had had “problems” ever since he took over as commander of Battalion 3 of the GOF in October 2014.

“I received information that DSP Sivanganam and his ‘friends’ were involved in some problems. I felt this was credible and I met with my commander Nasir Ramli (from the Northern Brigade) for discussion.”

He said it was then decided that Sivanganam, Joeking and a few other officers would be transferred out from the GOF.

“In Nov 26, 2014, the commander wrote a letter and sent it to Bukit Aman. The Wang Burma case did not even exist then. We just limited their involvement,” Wan Hamzah told the RCI panel.

Meanwhile, he said, Sivanganam’s report was taken seriously by his department and the intelligence unit at the brigade was told to be alert.

Former chief justice Arifin Zakaria leads the inquiry panel. The other panel members are Norian Mai, Noorbahri Baharuddin, Razali Ismail, Junaidah Abd Rahman, Nazirah Hussain and Tan Seng Giaw. Yusran Shah Yusof is the secretary of the RCI.