Thursday, May 30, 2013

Three questions for the Home Minister on the spate of deaths in police lock ups.



Speech by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat at DAP Cameron Highlands Thanksgiving Dinner held on Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Three questions for the Home Minister on the spate of deaths in police lock ups.

Leaders present at the Dinner

There have been far too many deaths in police custody.

Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong in a statement released today said  that  156 persons died in police custody between 2000 and February 2011, and it has been reported that there were at least six such deaths in 2012.

He said the data is alarming, as it points to an average of at least one death in police custody per month since 2000.

In a mature democracy where the principle of  accountability is of utmost importance and priority, such endless spate would have involved the resignations of the nation’s top cop and home minister, either voluntary or forced.

But such culture of accountability is obviously not the BN government’s political value and practice.
Hence, when two more deaths have happened in the police lock up recently, it will be a miracle to expect the Home Minister or the top cop to hand in their resignations.

But what is most sad and unacceptable is the fact that the government has not taken effective steps in the past to end such spate of deaths.

Yesterday’s announcement by Bukit Aman management director Mortadza Nazarene again shows the government unwillingness to do what the public expect.

In response to the two recent deaths in police lock up, Mortadza Nazarene said yesterday that the police would be setting up a special committee headed by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to curb incidents involving deaths in police lock-ups.

Upon hearing the announcement, my immediate thought is why is the government so unwilling to implement the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as recommended by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission of Inquiry eight years ago in 2005?
Submission of 2 new branch formation forms to Sdr Leong Ngah Ngah

Does the government seriously believe that the special committee can end the spate of deaths in police lock up?

Does the government seriously think that the public will have confidence in the Special Committee?
What puzzles most Malaysians is why is the government so unwilling to implement the IPCMC when this is what Malaysians want?

Why is the government so unwilling to listen to the people and do what is right?

Why is it still behaving as if the government knows best? “This data is alarming, as it points to an average of at least one death in police custody per month since 2000,” the Malaysian Bar’s president Christopher Leong said in a statement today.

In the coming Parliament, I will ask the Home Minister three questions relating to deaths in police lock ups:
1.     What steps have been taken in the past to end deaths in police lock ups and why have the steps failed?
2.     Why is the government so unwilling to implement the IPCMC?
3.     Will he take political responsibility if the Committee is not able to stop the spate of deaths in police lock ups?

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