Sunday, August 10, 2014

Custodial deaths: There must be no more delay in setting up IPCMC

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on August 9, 2014.

Custodial deaths: There must be no more delay in setting up IPCMC
Despite the continued occurrences of custodial deaths, the federal government continues to refuse to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) recommended by the Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah.
The federal government’s lack of seriousness and commitment to address custodial deaths is most disappointing, even irresponsible.
Last month, I said that the then High Court judge V.T. Singham had last year in the Kugan verdict said the IPCMC should be set up as soon as possible because members of the public and family members of victims involved had little confidence in investigations carried out by the police.
I had asked how many more custodial deaths must happen before the federal government will set up the IPCMC. 

The government gave a swift but most disappointing response.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan revealed that the Government will not set up IPCMC as it already had the Malaysian Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).
He gave the response despite the fact that he had failed in his last year’s assurance that the government was determined to stop all future tragedies behind bars.
Yesterday, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court ruling that IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and his police officers were responsible for the death in custody of A. Kugan five years ago.
Court of Appeal judge Datuk Wong Dak Wah, who delivered the court's unanimous judgment, said custodial deaths should not happen in this country and there must be zero tolerance.
With the Court of Appeal’s judgment, I firstly wish to call on the Police not to file any appeal. Kugan’s family has suffered enough.
In fact, not only should not the IGP file an appeal, going by the principle of accountability, IGP should in fact take responsibility for the custodial death and tender his resignation.
Secondly, I wish to call on the government to have zero tolerance for custodial deaths. There must not be any more excuses and IPCMC must be immediately set up.
EAIC does not inspire public confidence and time has proven that it is a failed mechanism. There is no reason for the government or the Police to fear the setting up of IPCMC as other countries like UK and Australia have similar external oversight bodies.

1 comment:

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