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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ugly ferocious beast in Malaysia


Foo Voon Kong holding photo of his wife Pua Bee Chun shot dead by police

The Malaysian Insider - Man says cops shot his wife after car chase, demands explanation

Pua Bee Chun, a 22-year-old housewife, was killed by police in a similar scenario as suffered by Aminulrasyid Amzah. Her death by trigger happy police has been the latest in a string of unexplained or innocent deaths caused by police.


14-year old Aminulrasyid Amzah

Just recently we read of the horrifying death of C Sumugaran who was reported beaten by several men allegedly including police members. His corpse was found handcuffed and with turmeric powder smeared on his face, a description consistent with the alleged brutalities prior to his demise.

These have not been rare occurrences but rather the rule to the exception, with Indians bearing the brunt of alleged police brutalities or police crimes.

fz.com reported that C Sugumaran's ... case is but the latest in a long line of deaths in custody highlighted in the media. In its written answer in parliament, the Home Ministry stated that there have been a total of 156 deaths in police custody from 2000 to February 2011.


C Sugumaran

More than half or a whopping 85 cases have been classified under 'No Further Action'. Twenty-nine cases are still under investigation.

In 2007 I posted: Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, the Chief Judge of Malaya, has expressed her deep concerns that 80 deaths in police custody occurred between January 2000 and December 2004 – that’s an average of 20 people dying per annum while in police custody, or almost a frightening 2 per month for 4 continuous years - but only 6 inquests, less than 10% of the deaths, were even held.

The Chief Judge has been troubled that in some instances, deaths occurred hours after detention. As an example, mechanic Alias Othman was detained at 10 pm on March 22 allegedly for causing a disturbance at a mosque in Bachok, Kelantan, but just a mere 5 hours later, he was very very dead. Siti Norma wants answers why so many people had died under such circumstances.

She demanded to know why police had seen it fit to decide that inquests were unnecessary in 22 cases of such deaths. ... In fact, the Criminal Procedure Code specifically makes it mandatory to have inquests into deaths under police custody.

Yet the IGP has not addressed this unacceptable omission, a violation of the Criminal Procedure Code. The IGP must be held responsible and accountable for his failure.


And that's how we came to know of names like A Kugan, F Udayappan, etc. Their troubled souls still cry out for justice. But how to achieve justice when you have blokes like the former Home Minister Syed Hamid who didn't understand the fundamental principle of criminal laws that a person is innocent until proven guilty. The mafulat moronic minister alluded to A Kugan, a police detainee, as a criminal - see Syed Hamid: Don't see criminals as heroes, cops as demons.

(Then) Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang was unsurprisingly incensed by the shameless mindless insensible police minister's stupid attempt to diminish the terrible circumstances leading to Kugan's death in police custody, which the normally recalcitrant AG had even been moved to officially classify as a murder.



In Malaysiakini Something wrong about Syed Hamid Lim blasted the Minister: "Malaysians, like people all over the world, do not regard criminals as heroes and the police as demons."

"But when a minister responsible for the police makes a shocking statement of this nature, it reflects that something has gone very wrong both with the police force and the home minister with regard to the most basic of government duties – to keep the people safe and to uphold law and order."


Then Lim roared: "Even if Kugan was guilty of the crimes alleged, the police cannot take the law into its own hands and continue to pile up the shocking statistics of deaths in police custody."


The current Home Minister is not any better.

Each time a death occurred (other than that for Aminulrasyid Amzah) the investigation would closed with NFA (no further action). And even in Aminulrasyid's case, the policeman found guilty of his death was subsequently released on appeal.



Using the example of Teoh Beng Hock's bullshit case (MACC is the same as PDRM as it recruits its officers from the police), that a young father-to-be on the eve of his wedding, and who rang his best man to remind the latter of the wedding the following day, was found to have "committed suicide", we may be excused for predicting the equally ludicrous, that the investigation into the shooting of Pua Bee Chun will find her"rushing forward to deliberately intercept police bullets which were fired in a safe direction" and that C Sugumaran "went into an epileptic fit leading to his death while helpful policemen were attempting to save him by applying turmeric powder which has anti-epileptic properties".

And each time the public frustration grows at the total non accountability of the police, there would be another call for the IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission) to be established, but as usual none would be forthcoming.

The above leitmotiv is as equally frustrating as that against the very obvious and total non accountability of deaths in police custody.

Of the last three former IGPs, we have one who punched Anwar Ibrahim in an eye. Regardless of his claims that Anwar was verbally and insultingly provocative, the No 1 policeman should not have behaved like a thug, and indeed he went to prison for his crime.

Then we had one who was allegedly involved with Triad members. The No 1 policeman allegedly in cahoots with gangsters? Mind you, lately I heard he was cleansed, rinsed and canonized to become one of the 3 G-D's of Truth, one-third of the new Timurthi.

But I opine the most terrible former IGP was the one, a civil servant, who in 2006 mutinied against the elected PM of Malaysia.

AAB was the PM who promised to establish an IPCMC, but his efforts were threatened and undermined by former IGP Mohd Bakri Omar. Bakri Omar openly defied the PM.



Bakri's arrogance and defiance knew no bounds when he insubordinately sabotaged the PM’s IPCMC, by appealing directly to several UMNO backbenchers and some PAS MPs, of course after he had demonstrated his Islamic credentials with his policewomen tudung fait accompli., a precursor of recent PAS' intrusion into the lives of non-Muslims.

I am not sure what was it that those UMNO MPs saw or heard that convinced them to back the IGP against the PM in rejecting the IPCMC.

On 30 March 2006, then Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang made a press statement: As the Prime Minister had publicly made a commitment to accept the Royal Police Commission and establish the IPCMC, Bakri has committed the grave offence of insubordination and defiance of authority of the Prime Minister in publicly declaring that the police had rejected the IPCMC proposal and 24 other proposals.

The acceptance or otherwise of the IPCMC and the other 24 other proposals of the Royal Police Commission is a policy issue to be decided by the Prime Minister, Cabinet and Parliament and not by the police or any government department or service, unless Malaysia has become a police state.

If Bakri is not prepared to accept the authority of the Prime Minister, Cabinet and Parliament to decide on the policy issue on the IPCMC and the other Royal Police Commission recommendations, then the only honourable way out for him is to resign as IGP to express his opposition and not to be guilty of insubordination by wearing the uniform of the IGP to openly go against the authority of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – setting a dangerous precedent undermining the important principle in a parliamentary democracy that the public service, including the police, must be subject to civilian oversight, accountability and authority.

WTF, nothing happened. Additionally when Bakri Omar left, he left with FULL HONOURS and the blessings and grateful thanks of PM AAB. And you wonder why the police know they are teflonised.

AAB praised Bakri Omar, at an event to honour Bakri, as one of the most efficient leaders who brought the police force to greater heights.

When I read that I puked.

Wasn't this the IGP under whose tenure saw some of the worst police excesses, including abuses, corruption and numerous deaths in custody.


See my previous postings of police abuses:
(1) Malaysia's own Abu Ghraib
(2) Police Inquiry to chase trees & not see woods
(3) Shoot the Messenger!
(4) Bald & Naked Truth of Malaysian Police
(5) Most Dangerous Place in Malaysia!


Then see my analyses of the terrible RMP and its hopeless head, the IGP:
(6) Problem of the Royal Malaysian Police
(7) Police leopard in 'appropriate attire'!
(8) KTemoc's advice to Police
(9) Axe the clueless IGP!
(10) IGP versus PM
(11) Lim KS to PM: "Gotta Guts to Gut IGP?"


Wasn't this also the IGP who proselytised his non-Muslim female police officers by forcing them to wear the tudung on parade, very much against their constitutional rights, on the baseless argument that it’s merely for uniformity, when turbaned Sikhs in the RMP have for decades not appeared out of place with their non-Sikh colleagues nor were non-Sikh police personnel required to wear turbans for ‘uniformity.

See: (12) Policewomen forced to wear tudungs on parade!


That’s the quality of the former IGP – he couldn't even bullsh*t convincingly. But this was the IGP who exploited an Islamic apparel purely for political reasons, to curry favour with the UMNO and PAS MPs so as to ‘soften’ them up to take his (IGP) side against the IPCMC.

This was the IGP who breached every civil service procedures by openly and unashamedly turning the police force into a politically oriented service in telling UMNO MPs that if the IPCMC was established, the police couldn't ensure the BN’s position in power.


But the most disappointing factor that has emerged from the PM’s totally unjustified praise of this unmitigated poor performing mutinous so-called civil servant, a man who had on a number of occasions actually and publicly defied and gone against the PM/Internal Security Minister, a man who had led the RMP into the deepest reaches of dark dungeons, had been the indication that AAB had no real interest or lacked the will or backbone to change the ugly ferocious beast that was and still is the Royal Malaysian Police.

Bakri Omar had the additional notoriety of arrogantly refusing to reply to a complaint by and a request for a meeting with the Bar Council over a case of police abuse of lawyers, despite the Council having written to him three times.

Then Bar Council VP Ambiga Sreenevasan highlighted the case of lawyer S Bala, who was detained by police while attempting to attend to his client at the Petaling Jaya police district headquarters. She reminded police that their interference into legal representation of a detained person is a serious matter. 




Which police force of a western democracy dares to detain or even be rude to a lawyer attending to his client in police custody, an offence which would have seen the police officer involved sacked.

Ambiga had then warned: “The public can say that if even a lawyer is subjected to this (abuse of power), what more the ordinary citizen?”

“As far as the Bar Council and members of the Malaysian Bar are concerned, the IPCMC is the answer to this problem as investigations will be carried out quickly and they will be done in a transparent manner.”


But the IGP didn't give two hoots to the requests by the Bar Council for a meeting on this issue of police abuse and interference in due process of the law. It was precisely this sort of arrogant non-accountability by a public servant that showed the police believe they could get away with anything, and they have!


AAB was of course a coward and spineless PM, allowing that mutinous IGP to defy his prime ministerial authority.

Now more than ever before, we need not just an IPCMC but a truly effective one, meaning not one manned by UMNO ministers or apparatchiks, cronies or tame retired judges or senior servants.

Najib could well win the day if he immediately establishes the IPCMC.



But it's also true that the police have been terrified of the IPCMC to an extent that the previous IGP, Mohd Bakri Omar, had the unmitigated nerve to exceed public service ethical boundaries in a private briefing for UMNO (and some PAS) members of parliament to 'persuade' those ‘Yang Berhormats’ into rebelling against the PM on the IPCMC bill.

I believe there may be only one way to cut through the police manipulative barricades against the establishment of the much-needed IPCMC, unpleasant and unpalatable to many of us as this would be.

It's a sort of trade off where we have to compromise away from the ideal, and inform the police that a new IPCMC bill will not only contain a due process for police appeals but also a clause where the IPCMC will not investigate any alleged police conduct prior to the gazetting of the bill.

In other words, there will be a general amnesty for all police misconduct prior to the establishment of the IPCMC a la the South African 'Truth' Commission.


That may assure the police that the IPCMC will not be an apparatus to seek vengeance for past misdeeds, and may help persuade them to come to the party for a modern police system.

Unless we trade that off, the IPCMC will never see the light of day, no, not with a PM who like AAB lacks the backbone to bring it about. Yes, some damn rats will slip through and the aggrieved families of victims like Kugan, Udayappan, etc won't be happy or even agree, but we will at least have the IPCMC for the future, and most importantly, for the children of Malaysia.

It is not a perfect world, but half a loaf would be better than none.

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