Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 17th, January, 2015
Malaysians are outraged by the rising custodian deaths and they are entitled to ask the government—how many more horror custodies must occur before it will set up the IPCMC?
Yesterday, the Coroner’s Court ruled that the death of lorry driver Chandran Perumal in a police lock-up two years ago was due to the negligence of police officers.
I will not be surprised if any member of public says that he/she is not shocked to hear the news that Chandran’s death was due to police ‘s negligence because there have been past custodial deaths where the police have been confirmed to be the culprits in causing the deaths.
However, the shocking part was how the inhumane the police officers were towards Chandran , resulting in his death from a heart disease after being deprived of his medication.
The coroner Ahmad Bache has said:-
“Throughout the entire period of time the deceased was detained, the police had not shown any humane behaviour.”
“The police have committed unlawful omission which led to the death of the deceased by not giving him the medication for his disease and for not taking the necessary actions when his life was threatened”.
A magistrate had ordered that the deceased be given the necessary treatment on Sept 9, 2012, but no action was taken by the police to send the deceased to the hospital.
The judge also pointed out the failure and dishonesty of police officers when closed-circuit television (CCTV) images showed that the deceased was not moving at 7.48am on the day he died while police reported his death more than 10 hours later.
Images from the CCTV indicated that the deceased was feeling cold and in pain prior to his death in a lock-up without a toilet and bed.
“This is an incompassionate act and the court thinks that the deceased should not have been left to die in such conditions,” said Ahmad.
Will Paul Tan, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department , who has not been supporting the setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) now change his mind after reading such “ horror “ story?
Will the Cabinet which has refused to set up the IPCMC in spite of increasing custodial deaths continue to treat custodial deaths as if they are mere statistics only?
In 2005 former Chief Justice Tun Zainuddin heading the Royal Commission on Police recommended the setting up of IPCMC. But the government has refused to implement it which would have saved many lives. How many more have to die before IPCMC kicks off?? The refusal is unacceptable, illogical and a diservice to Malaysians.
In 2013, then High Court judge V.T. Singham had in the A. Kugan verdict said the setting up of IPCMC to investigate claims of disciplinary offences by the police to eliminate accusations of “horror stories” in lock-ups had to be urgently considered.
Kugan was physically tortured during interrogation by police in 2009 and died.
“Custodial death should not become the rule of the day. It is a heinous crime perpetrated by the custodians of law. If custodians of the law themselves indulged in committing such crimes then no part of the society is safe and secured,” Singham said.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its “ No Answers, No Apology: Police Abuses and Accountability“ report released last year in Kuala Lumpur revealed that just 7% of complaints against the police force between 2005 and 2012 reached a courtroom while more than half the cases has yet to be fully investigated.
From extrajudicial killings of teenagers to custodial deaths, threats to lawyers and assaults on journalists covering demonstrations, the report gives chilling and bloody first-person accounts of police abuse and misconduct.
Malaysians are outraged by the rising custodian deaths and they are entitled to ask the government—how many more horror custodies must occur before it will set up IPCMC?