SEPANG: Sixteen Malaysians who were detained by the Indonesian Immigration Department for abusing their visas arrive home today.
The arrivals of the volunteers from the Chris Leong Method (CLM) headed by the Tit Tar Chinese medicine therapy method bone specialist Datuk Chris Leong after being detained for two months in Palembang, Indonesia was received by Foreign Ministry secretary general Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaacob.
Talking to reporters, Chris or Leong Kong Yan, 43, conceded the case was a reminder to himself which could be a lesson to any individual intending to go abroad.
Although the case he went through was more of a misunderstanding on the use of the visa, Chris, however, said the issue of compliance with a travel document was very important.
“We went to Palembang to perform charity work and not conduct business activities.
“The case was closed because the investigations of the Indonesian authorities found that we had carried out many welfare activities prior to this,“ he said upon their arrival from Palembang at the KL International Airport (KLIA) here.
Newspapers, prior to this, reported that the bone specialist was detained by the Indonesian Immigration Department on Jan 9 with 19 CLM volunteers in a raid on a four-star hotel in Palembang.
Besides the 16 Malaysians, the others detained were from Hong Kong (three) and Belgium (one).
Meanwhile, Muhammad Shahrul Ikram said the case must be a lesson to Malaysians to always respect the laws of other countries.
He said every Malaysian must realise that the use of a tourism visa to conduct activities which were regarded as business was prohibited and in this case, the Indonesian authorities were very firm about it.
“Maybe Chris Leong regarded what they did was charity when on the part of the Indonesians, a tourist visa cannot be used for other purposes.
“We may think what we do is charity not business but for the security authorities there, it is business,“ he said.
Nevertheless, he thanked the Indonesian government for giving their full co-operation during the process of bringing home the Malaysian citizens.
Muhammad Shahrul Ikram said that, after being investigated for two months, and at the appeal of Wisma Putra, they were all freed after the Indonesian authorities decided not to proceed with the case in court. — Bernama