PEKAN NENAS (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Singaporean fugitive has been sentenced to 12 months' jail for illegally walking across the Causeway into Malaysia without a passport.
Sessions Court Judge Salawati Djambari sentenced Tan Hock Chye, 47, on Monday (March 14) after he pleaded guilty.
Tan, who had the charge read out to him in Chinese, also admitted that he was on the wanted list in Singapore and also had previous convictions for armed robbery and drug-related offences.
Ms Salawati, when passing sentence, said that this was not just a case of someone illegally entering Malaysia, but of someone hiding from their own country's laws.
Soon after passing sentence, she ordered the accused's mobile phone to be confiscated after it started ringing in court.
According to the facts of the case, the accused was arrested at the Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex at 9.15am on Feb 28.
He was charged under Section 6(1)(a) of the Immigration Act.
Malaysia unilaterally prohibited walking across the Causeway after the CIQ complex opened in 2010, citing "security" reasons, even though Singapore still allows the long-standing practice.
Meanwhile, at the same court, Ms Salawati sentenced a total 86 foreigners from seven countries between two weeks and 15 months imprisonment for various immigration offences.
The foreigners, 30 women and 56 men, were from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, India and Nepal.
The offences included illegally entry into Malaysia without a passport, overstaying, misuse of social passes and using fake entry passes.
Most of the foreigners were working at food outlets, factories, farms and construction sites.