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Police beat me into confessing: worker

The Star. December 20, 1999

UPDATE: The Straits Times, Dec 31, reported the Central Narcotics Bureau is investigating a claim by a Malaysian youth that he was punched by anti-drug officers after he was picked for a random urine test at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

Vox Populi: Police 'high handed, cocky and arrogant'

By Iris Maniam

JOHOR BARU: An 18-year-old Malaysian working in Singapore has alleged that he was assaulted by two officers from the republic's Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and forced to admit that he had taken psychotropic drugs.

Factory worker Soh Chin Sheng, from Kulai, near here, said the incident took place on Dec 7 when he was on his way to work.

He said as a result of his "confession," he had been denied entry into Singapore for six months.

He lodged a report on the matter at the Woodlands police station and also underwent a urine test at Gribbles Pathology to confirm that he had not been on drugs.

Speaking to reporters here yesterday, Soh said that at 10pm on Dec 7, he and 10 others on board their factory bus were ordered by CNB officers at the Woodlands checkpoint to alight for a urine test.

He said after waiting for about an hour, he was taken into a room and asked to strip. An officer then asked him if he had taken any psychotropic drugs and he replied in the negative.

"Suddenly, the officer clenched his fists and punched me in the head twice. I tried to defend myself by covering my head with my hands and the officer ordered me to put my hands behind."

"Despite following his orders, he continued to punch my stomach and as I could not take the pain, I admitted to taking the drugs.

"Soon after, another officer walked in, hit my head and asked me for my work permit which I found out later, had been cancelled, barring me from entering Singapore for the next six months," Soh said.

He added that prior to the incident, he had been taking cough mixture as he was not feeling well and hoped that the CNB would investigate the matter and take appropriate action.

Soh's father, Cheng Kit, 44, said his son had been treated unfairly and that such abuse of power did not augur well for both the CNB and bilateral ties.