Wang Kelian RCI: Six human skeletons found during follow-up search

Witness ASP Jamaluddin Shah Mohd Jawan is pictured during the second day of the Wang Kelian Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) hearing in Putrajaya April 18, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Witness ASP Jamaluddin Shah Mohd Jawan is pictured during the second day of the Wang Kelian Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) hearing in Putrajaya April 18, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, April 22 — The seventh witness in the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the discovery of mass graves and transit camps in Wang Kelian, Perlis, today testified that he found six human skeletons and 20 grave-like structures during a follow-up search at Bukit Wang Burma on Aug 15, 2015.

ASP Jamaluddin Shah Mohd Jawan, now head of the Anti-Crime and Community Safety Division at the Tumpat district police headquarters (IPD), said the search was led by him who was at that time an Inspector with the Padang Besar IPD Special Branch, together with a team from the Perlis state contingent headquarters (IPK).

“The skeletal remains were found all over the raised platforms at the camp structures which were made from canvas material and wood, and the place fenced up with barbed wire,” he told the RCI.

The witness said the camp was located in Bukit Wang Burma, Perlis, about 50 metres from the Malaysia-Thailand border and an hour’s walk from the Wang Kelian camp.

He said he then made a report at the Perlis police IPK on the discovery of the six human skeletons and 20 graves.

Jamaluddin Shah said following inspection by a forensic team, the 20 graves were found to contain skeletal remains.

The campsite at Bukit Wang Burma was the last discovery from the follow-up search that he made after the campsite at Wang Kelian was found in January 2015, said the witness who had served for nine years at the Padang Besar IPD’s Special Branch.

Before the discovery of the camp at Bukit Wang Burma, Jamaluddin Shah said that in March 2015, follow-up search at two more locations, namely Genting Perah and Perlis State Park, found 18 small camps.

The search, he said, was conducted by the Special Branch of the Perlis IPK and of the Padang Besar IPD together with VAT 69 of the Royal Malaysian Police, to ensure that no area was missed out in the search for more of such settlement camps.

“This was because the translation of the content in the Thai language of a notebook found at the Wang Kelian camp in 2015 told of other camps in nearby areas,” he said.

Jamaluddin Shah, in his testimony, also said that based on his experience, the location of the detention camp for illegal migrants in Thailand being very close to the border with Perlis, was a factor for the illegals to try their luck to enter Malaysia.

“Most of the illegals that I interrogated (while serving in Padang Besar) admitted to being from the detention camps for illegals on the Thailand side of the border area,” he said. — Bernama