EAIC calls Namewee’s bluff on dirty cell claim

The EAIC team went through a CCTV recording of the lock-up during Wee’s four-day confinement period and found that the police had taken measures to make the singer feel more comfortable. ― Picture by KE Ooi
The EAIC team went through a CCTV recording of the lock-up during Wee’s four-day confinement period and found that the police had taken measures to make the singer feel more comfortable. ― Picture by KE Ooi

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) debunked today controversial rapper Namewee’s claims of being locked up in a dirty and crowded cell in Penang with sickly foreigners last month.

EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam said an investigating team paid a surprise visit to the Bayan Baru police lockup last Monday where the Johor-born singer born Wee Meng Chee was held in remand from August 22 to 25 to scrutinise his allegations and found them to be baseless.

“The observation team found that overall, the level of cleanliness of the Bayan Baru lock-up and cell was satisfactory,” he said in a statement.

The EAIC team also went through a CCTV recording of the lock-up during Wee’s four-day confinement period and found that the police had taken measures to make the singer feel more comfortable.

And contrary to his claim that he was stuffed into a tiny detention cell with 15 people, the CCTV recording showed Wee had shared it with 12 others — seven Myanmar nationals and five Nepali — for two hours, after which the foreigners were transferred to a different cell.

Yaacob noted that Wee was taken into cell M1-2 at 4.53pm on August 22 and at 6.45pm, the other 12 detainees were moved to cell M1-17. Wee was the sole occupant of his cell for the remainder of his remand period.

“The lock-up authorities took this measure especially for Namewee’s comfort,” Yaacob said.

He added that the EAIC team also looked into Wee’s claim that the some of his fellow detainees exhibited symptoms of illness and also found them equally baseless, based on their movements in the cell as recorded by the CCTV.

“Therefore, the allegations made by Namewee that the detainees housed with him were in a bad state and that perhaps there might be foreigners who had died without proper medical attention is baseless and merely his own assumption,” Yaacob said.

Wee was reported to have written about his detention experience at the Bayan Baru lock-up in a Facebook posting on August 27, when he was remanded by the police for investigation into his controversial music video “Oh My God!”

In the social media postings that have since been removed, he reportedly spoke of meeting 15 illegal immigrants from Myanmar, some who had allegedly spent more than a month in detention.

Wee had claimed that these detainees were placed in small and dirty cells, adding that they were in poor health, voicing suspicion that they might have tuberculosis.

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