Friday, April 3, 2015

Trigger happy policemen must be weeded out

Press Statement by M. Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat Ipoh Court on 3rd April 2015
Trigger happy policemen must be weeded out 

Today, in the civil case involving the family of Chen Fun Kee versus Mohd Taufik Peter Bin Abdullah, the police and the government, the Ipoh Court Sessions Judge has ordered a sum of RM 200,000 as damages.
On 16.09.2009 about 5 pm, a gold trader Chen Fun Kee was shot to death by a police officer outside his workplace in Ipoh. The case today is brought by the decease’s wife Leong Seok Cheng the First Plaintiff (1) and her only child Chen Ming Hui, the Second Plaintiff (2). In this case the Plaintiff has adduced evidence through the witnesses to show that the First Defendant Mohd Taufik Peter Bin Abdullah is the man primarily responsible for the shooting and killing of Chen Fun Kee.

 The First Defendant was at all material times an officer of the Malaysian Police Department with the Police and a Government Servant to the Second and Third Defendant. By reason of the killing, the First and Second Plaintiff suffered loss of support and damages.

 Presently the First Defendant has been charged for murder under 302 of the Penal Court and the case is pending in Ipoh High Court.

 It is the Contention of the Plaintiff’s that the Police the Second Defendant and the Government of Malaysia the Third Defendant failed to supervise, exercise control over First Defendant and thus, were negligent  in employing a police officer who had killed Chen Fun Kee by discharging the fire arm provided by the police.

 Section 19 of the Police Act states “At all material times a police officer is primarily governed and controlled by the Police Act. He is “deemed to be always on duty when required to act as such and shall perform the duties and exercise the powers granted to him under the Act or…..”.
Thus clearly this section spells out that a police officer is on duty 24 hrs a day. And thus at all material times by implication whatever duties he discharges is duly performed as an officer of the police force.  Further by section 85 of the Act a police officer may in the performance of his duties carry arms

 This is a case the deceased was killed by a police officer using arms belonging to the
Police force and hence implicates the Police Force and they are answerable to the family of the deceased. A young man of only 42 years was robbed of his life and thus the continuous care and support to this family has been permanently cut off.
 The Federal Constitution article 5 says FUNDAMENTAL LIBERTIES
Liberty of the person  Article 5. (1) No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law. The Federal Constitution accords protection to all its citizens. But the innocent killing of this man has deprived his life. The police must accept responsibility.

Although the police argued that the killing by the 1st Defendant was “a frolic of his own”, I had urged the court in that we should go further and say by accordingly the 1st Defendant’s usage of the fire arm the police had a supreme duty of care and duty to society at large which includes the deceased. I had further said are we going to agree ONLY with substantial evidence of negligence before the court to implicate the Defendants otherwise the Police can wash their hands without any responsibility? They can arm a police man and he is authorized to be trigger happy?

 It has to be remembered whatever compensation the family may get will not bring the deceased alive. But the guilty and those in power should be made accountable for their negligence in this case.
Today the Judge ordered a sum of RM 200,000 as damages. But this amount is a pittance as it is hardly enough for years to come to educate the deceased’s child who is only 15 years old now.
The police cannot absolve themselves by shifting the blame on the Chief Inspector who shot the deceased. What about the others like the officer who had authorized the killer from using the gun without proper supervision? I am sure this case could be the tip of the ice berg in our country. Although by and large the Police Department is carrying out its statutory functions, it cannot be denied there are some unnecessary bad elements in the force. These men must be weeded out the earlier the better before the public lose confidence in the police department.

This case is a wake up call to the home Minister to put his house in order. A new mind set and a people concerned police force is required.

The case was presided by Sessions Judge Sunita Kaur. The deceased family was represented by N. Selvam and M. Kula Segaran while the Police Department and the Government were represented by Miss Huam from the Attorney General Chambers.

The Chief Inspector was unrepresented and he is presently in prison pending out of the murder case against him

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