KUALA LUMPUR, June 10, 2011 (AFP) – Malaysian inmates torched a drug rehabilitation centre in southern Johor state, with 43 fleeing after the riot, police said Friday.
District deputy police chief Salleh Abdul Razak said the inmates burnt down an administrative building, dining hall, visitor complex and nine cars as well as a motorcycle Thursday night after a riot broke out in the centre’s compound.
“We are still investigating the cause of the riots, but initial investigations showed that 43 inmates escaped in the chaos,” Salleh told AFP.
“Police have managed to recapture 38 of the inmates so far while five are still on the loose. We are urging residents nearby to be on the lookout for anything suspicious,” he said.
It was the second riot at the centre — where inmates are forcibly sent by authorities — after one in 1999, he added.
Malaysian detention centres are notorious for being overcrowded and insecure. Home ministry officials admitted last August to poor standards at detention centres after a report labelled the facilities “ticking time bombs”.
In April, 109 illegal immigrants fled a detention camp in central Negeri Sembilan state after burning down an accommodation block, while in March last year, 16 illegal immigrants escaped after cutting their way out of a detention centre at Malaysia’s main international airport.