Immigration dept denies unfair treatment of Namibian envoy’s nephews

Namibian High Commissioner to Malaysia Anne Namakau Mutelo with Adventure Simataa Simasiku (left) and Roydie Mabengano Simasiku at KLIA.

PETALING JAYA: The Immigration Department has denied allegations that it had acted unfairly against two nephews of the Namibian High Commissioner to Malaysia in an incident at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Monday.

Its director-general, Khairul Dzaimee Daud, in a statement to Bernama, said the two men were taken to the department’s operations office in KLIA merely to obtain further information about their social visit to the country.

“Both of them had earlier failed to provide satisfactory answers at the immigration arrival counter,” he said.

Yesterday, the media reported that Namibia High Commissioner Anne Namakau Mutelo claimed that her nephews, Adventure Simataa Simasiku and Roydie Mabengano Simasiku, were detained by an immigration officer for three hours after arriving in the country at 6.25pm.

Mutelo claimed that the officer’s action in detaining them illegally violated the rights of the Namibians.

Khairul said during the incident, Mutelo had rushed into the operations room and questioned the department’s standard operating procedures.

He said that this should not have been done by a high commissioner.

Following this, the department would send a letter to Wisma Putra to protest Mutelo’s actions.

“A protest letter would be sent next week because Mutelo had tried to intervene in the operations of a government agency and created an uproar over something that is not true,” he said.

Yesterday, the media reported that Mutelo complained of rude treatment by an immigration officer at KLIA.

She said she had gone to the airport to pick up her nephews but they had already been taken into an immigration office.

She added the Simasiku brothers had informed the immigration officers that they were the nephews of the high commissioner and that she was on her way to receive them.

Mutelo said she then informed the immigration officers that she was the high commissioner to Malaysia and requested to know the reasons for the detention.

In a press statement, the Namibian high commission said the immigration officer had repeatedly said: “This is Malaysia and not Namibia.”

It said the officer had “insultingly thrown” the passports back at Mutelo.

Part of the scuffle was recorded by Adventure but he was asked to delete the recording by the immigration officer, Mutelo said.

She said the high commission wished to protest against the “rude and uncivilised manner” in which the government and the people of Namibia were treated by the officer.

She said the officer had violated the rights of Namibian citizens by unlawfully detaining them upon arrival and ill-treating them in words and demeanour.

“After the trauma and upon clearance and stamping of the passports, no valid reasons were given for their initial detention,” she added.

She hoped proper action will be taken against the immigration officer concerned.

Wisma Putra told FMT that the foreign ministry deeply regretted the incident and the official complaint had been forwarded to the Immigration Department for investigation and necessary action.

“The incident, though regrettable, is not targetted against any nationals from the African region,” it said.