JOHOR BAHRU: A Chinese national who was found safe after going missing while hiking in the Panti Timur Forest Reserve in Kota Tinggi has been detained for alleged illegal hiking, Johor Forestry Department said on Tuesday (Sep 20).
The department’s director Salim Aman told CNA that the man, Jason Ren Jie, has been detained while his case is being referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor for further investigation.
“The man has been detained with the forestry department since he was released from hospital on Sunday,” said Mr Salim.
“This is not a serious case so we did not put him in lock up but based on an understanding with him, he will be held at our premises,” he added.
Johor police earlier told CNA that the man was a Singapore citizen. However, the Johor forestry department’s Mr Salim and a spokesperson from the Kota Tinggi police division confirmed to CNA on Tuesday that he is a China national with Singapore permanent residency.
Mr Salim added that the man’s case has been referred to the deputy public prosecutor and he will likely be charged under section 47 of the National Forestry Enactment 1985 for hiking in a forest reserve without a permit.
“For this offence, he may receive a maximum fine of RM10,000 (US$2,200) or be jailed for up to three years or both,” he added.
“We detained him because he is a foreign national,” said Mr Salim.
“If he was local, we would have released him on police bail, but because he is foreign, he will be detained until the case is settled,” he added.