A Thai woman was arrested during an operation by the Immigration Department at the Juru Toll Plaza along the North-South Expressway, where she claimed to be a Malaysian citizen but eventually failed when asked to sing the National anthem ‘Negaraku’. - NSTP/File pic

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Tactics used by a Thai woman to evade detention by the Malaysian Immigration Department in Penang were foiled when she failed to sing the ‘Negaraku’.

During the operation at the Juru Toll Plaza along the North-South Expressway here, the 21-year-old made various excuses when asked to show her MyKad, including saying it was kept by her mother, and that she did not remember her MyKad number.

Penang Immigration director Mohamad Husni Mahmud said the woman also stressed that she was a Malaysian citizen, and resided and attended school in Alma, although she did not have any documents to support her claims.

“The woman was initially detained by the Road Transport Department (RTD) with her 20-year-old local boyfriend, because the registration plate of the car they were travelling in did not comply with the set specifications,” he told reporters after RTD’s special integrated operation with various enforcement agencies last night.

He said the operation also saw the detention of five individuals, namely three Myanmar nationals, two from India and an Indonesian woman aged between 25 and 40, for not possessing travel documents, and all of them were sent to the Juru Detention Depot for further investigation.

Meanwhile, Penang JPJ director Mohamat Johari Mat Nor said in the operation from 8pm to midnight, 362 vehicles were inspected with 152 summonses issued for various offences, including driving without a licence, having an expired driving licence, not possessing a vehicle licence, performing unauthorised modifications, overloading, and not having insurance.

“The operation involving 231 officers and members of RTD along with members of the police, Immigration, the Department of the Environment (DOE), the National Anti-Drug Agency and PLUS was aimed at increasing ‘the perception of being caught’ among road users, while taking stern action against drivers going against the regulations and road laws,” he said.

He said during the operation, the police inspected 28 vehicles and issued four summonses while the DOE checked 24 vehicles and issued three summonses.

Meanwhile, Mohamat Johari urged foreigners to obtain a government-issued driver’s licence if they had been living in Malaysia for more than a year.

“If they do not do so, they can be fined even though they have an international or domestic driver’s licence from their country of origin. International or domestic driving licences can only be used for up to one year of residence here, and thereafter, they may be issued with a summons for driving without a licence and fined,” he said.

He was commenting on a number of accidents and fatalities in Penang involving vehicles driven by foreigners including a recent incident where a Vietnamese driver ran down a rubbish collector near the Federal Building on Jalan Anson, here, last Friday.

In the 6.40am incident, victim Mukhtar Bahari, 62, suffered a serious injury to his left leg and had to undergo an above-the-knee amputation. – Bernama