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Friday, May 31, 2013

Zahid agrees with Waytha's suspension proposal


Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi agrees with Persatuan Hindraf Malaysia chairperson P Waythamoorthy that the police officers being investigated for custodial death cases should be suspended from the force, instead of being assigned to desk duties.

"I think that view is true," he said at a press conference in Kajang today after his inaugural visit to the Prisons Department headquarters.

hindraf 5th anniversary 251112 waythamoorthy waytha moorthyHe had been asked to respond to Waythamoorthy's (leftstatementyesterday.

However, Zahid cautioned that such a move must be done delicately to avoid "demoralising" the police force.

"Those responsible are individuals, not the entire force; so take action on the individuals, not the entire force."

On the whole, Zahid noted that police interrogation procedures may need to be looked at, so that future custodial deaths are not automatically blamed on the police.

He also proposed that detainees no longer be held during remand in police lock-ups, but in centralised holding centres with proper monitoring and CCTV coverage, so that can provide possible evidence of any wrongdoings, if they were to occur.

Asked about inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar's proposal for “safe zones” in crime-ridden cities where motorcycles would be barred from entering, Zahid said that he will need to study the statement first, but pledged his ministry's commitment, as well as that of the related agencies to make the city streets safer.

NONEWhen quizzed about Pakatan-linked NGO Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM), which is planning a rally in front of his ministry after Friday prayers later today to demand his resignation, Zahid (right) replied that it is not his, nor is it their prerogative.

He said that only Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has the authority to decide who is a minister.

"I am not answerable to them, I am answerable only to the PM," he stressed.

However, he expressed solidarity with the second demand by the group, which is a demand for a revamp of the Royal Malaysian Police’s (PDRM) image.

Zahid agreed that the police force needs to be given a facelift as well as a more “people-friendly image”.

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