by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, March 18, 1993:
Foreign Ministry should have a special unit in all foreign embassies to deal promptly with cases of ill-treatment of Malaysian nationals abroad
DAP supports the decision taken by the Government to summon the United States Ambassador to Malaysia, John Stern Wolf, to explain the ill-treatment of Perwaja Steel managing director, Tan Sri Eric Chia, at the hands of the police in New York on March 2.
The ill-treatment of Eric Chia, who underwent a 24-hour ordeal at the hands of New York police after he was handcuffed and arrested at the John F. Kennedy Airport on March 2, where he was treated like a criminal, denied his insulin jabs to control his diabetes, and was shuttled between four prisons before being produced in court, is deplorable and a shame on the American system of government.
It is most right and proper that the Foreign Ministry should express the Government’s regrets against the inhumane treatment of Eric Chia. In fact, the Foreign Ministry should protest in the strongest possible manner to the United States Government for its violation of human rights of Eric Chia and to serve notice that the Malaysian Government would champion every Malaysian national whose humanrights had been violated in the United States.
In the past, the Foreign Ministry had conspicuously intervened in only one case of such ill-treatment of Malaysian nationals abroad – in the case of a group of 25 Malaysian tourists who were inhumanely treated in Boston last October.
Many other cases of ill-treatment of Malaysian nationals abroad by immigration or police of foreign countries whether in the United States or Japan had not received the attention of the Foreign Ministry or Cabinet at all.
DAP calls on the Foreign Ministry to set up a special unit in all foreign embassies to deal promptly with cases of ill-treatment of visiting Malaysians abroad, and to reach a reciprocal understanding with foreign countries where the embassies concerned are immediately informed when nationals visiting the country have been detained or arrested whether by the immigration or police.