Anglers reeling from army assault

The Star 13.06.2011

JOHOR BARU: Two anglers looking for a good fishing spot at a village in Gelang Patah claimed they were held and assaulted by some soldiers who also accused them of being spies for Singapore.

Sub-contractors Chew Chong Yow, 24, and Tan Kok Beng, 26, said the incident occurred at 12.30pm on May 27 outside an army post at Kampung Tebing Runtuh.

“We had followed a signboard leading to a fishing area, where we wanted to ask about boat rental for fishing,” Chew said at a press conference called by Johor opposition leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau here yesterday.

They allegedly ran into a soldier in plainclothes, who took their identity cards and asked them to follow him to the post.

Chew said they had lunch with other soldiers at the army post while waiting for the men’s superior to turn up.

“After lunch, a call came and we were blindfolded,” he said, adding that the superior later came to interrogate them.

“When Tan responded that we were only looking for a fishing spot, the superior officer slapped him across the face,” Chew recalled, adding that this happened twice.

The officer checked their wallets and mobile phones.

When he found video recordings of the sea near Permas Jaya that they had taken during a previous fishing trip, the officer accused Chew of being a spy for Singapore.

During their ordeal, Chew said their vehicle was checked and that they poured orange juice over Tan’s head when he claimed to be ignorant of a ruling that civilians were not allowed within 500m of an army post.

The two were released at 4.30pm and they later lodged a police report.

Dr Boo, who is Skudai assemblyman and Johor DAP chief, said he had referred the matter to the Defence Ministry on behalf of the two men.

Commenting on the matter, Nusajaya OCPD Supt Abdul Aziz Ahmad said the police had investigated the matter and made recommendations to the deputy public prosecutor to take further action.

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