Cops face rape charges amid rising anti-Malaysia sentiment in Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — Three policemen were charged in a Penang court today with raping an Indonesian restaurant worker in a police station there, in a case that has reignited anti-Malaysia feelings in Indonesia.

Constables Sin Mat Lazim, 33, Syahiran Ramli, 21, and Remy Anak Pana, 21, pleaded not guilty when the charges under Section 376 of the Penal Code were read out to them at the Sessions Court in Butterworth this afternoon.

They were also charged with forcing the 25-year-old Indonesian woman to perform oral sex on them — a crime under Section 377C of the Penal Code — at Room 4 of the Prai police station barracks between 6.40am and 7.30am on November 9.

The trio could be jailed up to 20 years and whipped if convicted.

Last Friday, a 25-year-old Indonesian woman had sought the help of Bukit Mertajam Barisan Nasional coordinator Lau Chiek Tuan to lodge a police report alleging that she was gang-raped by three policemen at the Prai police station.

The restaurant worker claimed that she was taken to the police station after she was stopped by a police patrol car near Megamall Pinang shopping complex at around 6.30am while travelling in a taxi.

She alleged that she was taken to the Prai police station after she showed a photocopy of her passport and the police refused to accept it.

She claimed that she was taken to a room at the police station where she was raped by three policemen.

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has condemned the alleged rapes as despicable and inhuman acts and pledged full government cooperation in a bid to placate rising dissatisfaction from the Southeast Asian giant over ill treatment of its citizens here.

Anti-Malaysian emotions that had been simmering in Indonesia flared up again this week after a second Indonesian, a 15-year-old maid was reported raped by her male employer on Sunday three months after being hired.

A group of Indonesians were reported to have protested outside the Jakarta home of the Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia three days ago to demonstrate their unhappiness with Southeast Asia’s third biggest economy.

The group, said to represent Indonesian nationalist movement, Benteng Demokrasi Rakyat (Bendera), were reported to have carried placards that read, “Evict the Malaysian ambassador, Crush and Fight Malaysia” and burnt the Malaysian flag.

Bendera had threatened to attack and invade Malaysia in 2009, as part of its “Ganyang Malaysia (Crush Malaysia)” agenda, over territorial ownership of culture, oil, islands and treatment of its migrant workers.

The term “Ganyang” was first used in 1963 when then Indonesian President Sukarno opposed the merger of Malaya with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, resulting in the undeclared armed conflict known as the Confrontation or “Konfrontasi”.


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