The Indonesian Consulate here has engaged its own lawyer to take up cases
involving its citizens charged with offences that carry the death penalty.
Indonesian Consul General Djoko Harjanto revealed to The Borneo Post this was
to ensure that innocent suspects would not be forced to plead guilty to crimes
they did not commit.
“We cannot imagine when people, especially when they are our own citizens, are
sent to the gallows for crimes they never committed. But we have reasons to
believe that this has happened to some of our nationals here in the past.
“So in our effort to protect our people we have engaged our own lawyer in the
person of Rambir Singh to particularly handle cases involving our people
charged with offences that carry mandatory death sentence upon conviction,” he
He said even at present there were a few on-going cases involving Indonesians
who were charged with murder and drug trafficking, where death penalty would be
meted upon conviction.
“We are not saying that all who were charged and tried in courts were innocent.
There must be those who pleaded guilty to charges against them who really
committed the crimes but we also believe that there were some convicted due to
circumstances and this is what we don’t want to happen,” he said.
In this regard, Djoko advised his countrymen working abroad to comply with the
laws and regulations of the country they were in.
“Each time I have the chance to meet with our people who are working in
Malaysia I will remind them to respect the law here and stay away from any form
of illegal activity.
“Nevertheless, it is impossible for us to monitor them and see what they are
doing round the clock but we are trying our best to ensure that our people
don’t commit whatever crime when coming here to work or on vacation,” he said.
He said the other factor which made it more difficult for the Indonesian
Consulate here to monitor their people was that many could have entered the
“This is something that we cannot deny due to the porous borderline between
Kalimantan and Sarawak. Probably the only way illegal entries can be
effectively reduced if not stopped completely is when nobody dares to accept or
hire illegal immigrants.
“But for as long as the demand is there the influx of illegal immigrants will
continue and there will be no end to it,” he said.
He thus appreciated the move by the Immigration Department to register illegal
immigrants under the amnesty programme (Program 6P).
“This gives the opportunity to those who have entered Sarawak and searched for
jobs without valid documents to register themselves and follow the right
procedures. However, in this programme their employers also have to play a very
“They should come forward and register their workers and not hide their illegal
immigrants just because they want to run away from paying the levy and what
not,” he added.
Earlier this month, state Immigration Department director Datu Robert Lian said
the amnesty programme would expire end of this month and thereafter would not
be further extended.
(source: The Borneo Post)