MIRI: A 22-year-old man who was involved in a brawl with security guards and auxiliary police at the Niah Palm Oil Mill (NPOM) Ladang 3 Batu Niah here is currently awaiting drug rehabilitation treatment.
Nieleson Digat Regi, a former employee of NPOM, is waiting admission to the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK), Miri District on the request of his father after he was tested positive for drugs.
Following the incident at Ladang 3 Batu Niah on Feb 7 — a video clip of which went viral on social media recently — Nieleson was remanded for one night at the Bekenu police station and released the following day.
On Feb 9, Nielsen’s father requested that his son be referred to AADK for drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation.
According to police records, Nieleson, a former occupant of Henry Gurney School at Puncak Borneo, Kuching — a school established under the Juvenile Court Act 1947 (Act 90) to care for young offenders — had two previous reports lodged (in 2015 and 2016) against him.
One of it was from his father. All were related to assault with dangerous weapons.
On Jan 18, another police report was filed against him by NPOM staff when he threatened his parents and others with dangerous weapon at NPOM staff quarters where his parents lived.
The incident happened when Nieleson, who was employed by NPOM in October last year, failed to turn up for work. When he was approached by NPOM staff, he turned abusive and violent.
He has been laid off since then. He was arrested by the security guards and auxiliary police.
A urine test on him conducted by the auxiliary police found it positive. He was later brought to Niah police station the same day.
To reconfirm his drug test, police had a subsequent urine test done on Nieleson at the station and it was confirmed positive as well. The case is currently under investigation.
According to a police report, the Feb 7 incident occurred at 1.35pm when a security guard stopped Nieleson from entering the NPOM vicinity following a lockdown order issued by the management in an effort to curb the escalating Covid-19 cases reported in Subis area, where the mill is located.
However, he threatened the guard on duty and forced his way through the security entrance and went to the mill staff quarters. Security guards then informed the mill manager, who went to Nieleson parents’ home to persuade him to leave the quarters area.
He then left the area, but on his way out he stopped at the entrance where he punched the guard on duty out of anger for reporting him to the mill manager that led to another brawl, which was stopped by the auxiliary police on duty.
A police report was later lodged following which both him and the security guard were arrested. The case is still under police investigations under Section 506 and Section 324 of the Penal Code.
The Feb 7 incident had created a misunderstanding among the villagers at Kampung Sg Pakut.
Two days later on Feb 9, a group of villagers led by Nieleson’s grandfather illegally detained the security guard at the entrance of the mill and bashed him up in revenge.
The victim lodged a police report on Feb 10 and the police arrested five males in connection with the incidents. The case is also pending investigation under Section 324 and Section 342 of the Penal Code.
Sarawak Commissioner of Police Datuk Aidi Ismail, in a media statement, reminded the public that the incidents at Ladang 3 Batu Niah Miri were isolated cases caused by misunderstandings between two parties.
“Do not instigate and insinuate that this incident was a racial issue in Malaysia and in Sarawak particularly,” he said, adding that the public should not take matters into their own hands but let the police conduct their investigation.
Aidi also refuted allegations by certain quarters that the incident involved foreign nationals.
“All parties involved were locals,” he said, adding that the investigation papers on the incident submitted to the Sarawak State Attorney-General’s Chambers for further action.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Plantation Berhad chief operating officer Iswandi Ayub, when contacted, said: “We leave the investigation to the police. On our part, we do not condone violence.
“However, we understand isolated cases such as this could arise under extreme provocation when it is quite difficult to contain emotions, especially if it involved the health and security of the housing settlement under strict lockdown because of Covid-19.
“We will always assist Nieleson’s father who has been working with us for the last 16 years. We will help him, within our capacity, to make sure that his son will be given proper treatment to be rehabilitated from his drug addiction,” said Iswandi.