Mired in debt but he went on a pilgrimage

DSP Borhan Said (left) testified at Iskandar Rahmat's trial yesterday.
DSP Borhan Said (above) testified at Iskandar Rahmat's trial yesterday.

Despite owing a bank $65,000 - even after selling his flat and car- and facing police disciplinary proceedings over the debt, Iskandar Rahmat went on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

This was revealed during his double murder trial yesterday when Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Borhan Said took the stand to testify about the disciplinary proceedings against Iskandar.

The disciplinary officer told the High Court that Iskandar was first charged on April 5, 2013, with chalking up unsecured debts amounting to more than three times his salary, which was against the rules for police officers.

Iskandar was told of the consequences he faced if convicted, ranging from a caution to dismissal from the force, and was given time to prepare his defence, said DSP Borhan.

At a hearing on July 3 that year, Iskandar said he could confirm the debt only after his court case with the bank.

When the disciplinary officer said he ought to have resolved the dispute after the previous hearing, Iskandar replied that he had gone to Mecca on a pilgrimage.

DSP Borhan said he gave Iskandar "fatherly advice" that he should have prioritised his problems and used the money to repay his debt instead.

Selina Lum

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2015, with the headline 'Mired in debt but he went on a pilgrimage'. Print Edition | Subscribe