Employees of famed “tit-tar” traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Chris Leong have launched a petition urging the government to secure the release of him and his team, who are still detained in Palembang, Indonesia.
His employees claimed that the maximum duration anyone can be held in detention without trial in Indonesia is 40 days, which was on Monday (Feb 18).
Chris Leong and his 19-member team were arrested in Palembang, Indonesia on Jan 9 as they were accused of violating their tourist visas and conducting illegal commercial activities there.
Thursday (Feb 21) is the 43rd day they have spent in detention.
However, there has been no news on their release nor any formal charges made by Indonesian authorities.
The petition, which was launched by Leong’s company under the name of “CL Method Tit Tar PLT”, was uploaded on change.org and received almost 10,000 signatures within 16 hours.
It is addressed to the Malaysian government, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saiffudin Abdullah.
The petition appeals for the government’s “utmost attention to assist to speed up the release of the citizens (Chris Leong and his team) with a prompt extradition process”.
The petition also alleges ill-treatment at the detention centres.
Allegations include long hours of interrogation without meals or toilet breaks; daily abuse to provide free “tit-tar” treatment to outsiders from the immigration and prison officers’ families as well as other authorities; and sexual assault of female detainees.
The employees also allege that they were being coerced to make false statements under pressure so authorities there can take legal action and charge them.
The group arrived in Indonesia on Jan 5 at Kualanamu Airport in Medan before heading to Palembang.
They were arrested after an immigration enforcement officer, who posed as a patient, was charged 4.5 million rupiah (S$430) for “tit-tar” services.