PUTRAJAYA: The directive to demolish the temporary transit camps found in Wang Kelian, Perlis in 2015 was not intended to destroy evidence, according to former Perlis deputy police chief ACP (B) Md Zukir Md Isa.
Md Zukir said the directive issued during a police chief monthly meeting, chaired by him on Jan 20, 2015, was to ensure that the illegal immigrants could no longer use the transit camps in the future.
The order, he said, was given after a briefing by General Operations Force (PGA) Battalion 3, Company B commander, ASP M. Joeking.
In that meeting attended by Padang Besar district police chief Supt Rizani Che Ismail, the National Security Council and several other security agencies, Joeking informed about the discovery of the temporary transit camps and detention of 38 illegals.
The 13th witness of the Royal Commision of Inquiry (RCI) into the the discovery of the temporary transit camps and mass graves in Wang Kelian said, in the meeting Joeking also informed about the existence of the grave-like structures and following that, he ordered further investigations to be carried out to ascertain what were buried in there.
According to Md Zukir, based on the rules, his directive at the meeting was to establish what was buried in the piece of land resembling a grave before demolishing the camps.
“According to this sequence and instructions given to destroy certain parts of the camps first, I was made to understand that this was to ensure that the illegal immigrants would not be able to re-occupy the camps.
“My area of focus, establish what exactly was the piece of land resembling a grave, make sure the camps cannot be re-occupied by the illegals, meaning not demolishing the entire place only certain parts such as the canvas roofed areas,“ he said, adding that no objections and suggestions were raised pertaining to the instructions during the meeting.
Md Zukir said Joeking’s team demolished more than what had been instructed on Jan 21, 2015, probably because they were unclear about his instructions as Joeking’s actual task was more on operations rather than investigation.
Md Zukir, who retired as Kuala Muda district police chief, in 2017, said Perlis police chief Datuk Zul Aznan Haron was informed on the details of the briefing and instructions issued, after the meeting at about 1pm.
“I also informed about the discovery of the grave-like structures of which no further instructions were given and to my understanding, he (Perlis police chief) agreed with the instructions which I had issued,“ he said.
When questioned by former IGP Tan Sri Norian Mai whether there was coordination between the security forces in handling the case, Md Zukir said in the early stages, there was lack of coordination between the police, PGA and other agencies in conducting the investigations. — Bernama