Sunday, February 19, 2017

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 18thFebruary, 2017

Police custodial deaths – Cabinet should immediately set up the much delayed IPCMC

On January15, a detainee named Soh Kai Chiok died at the lock-up of the Bera district police headquarters 
Bera district police chief DSP Mansor Samsudin said that the victim was taken to the Triang Health Clinic and was referred to the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital (HOSHAS) in Temerloh. He also said that all lock-up procedures were adhered to in giving the victim his medication, food and drinks as well as seeing that he slept on time.

However, the questions which have arisen are why then Soh had become unconscious and died in the lock up? If he had fallen seriously ill, surely he should have been admitted at a hospital.

Last month High Court judge Justice S. Nantha Balan, in his 86 page judgment, said that lorry driver P Chandran died in custody in 2012 simply because the police did not observe the Lock Up rules 1953.
The judge said under the rules, it was clear that the police must attend to the sick and in particular, when a detainee suffered from any form of mental illness.

The judge pointed out that police were aware Chandran was ill and needed to take medication.
It is so shocking that a life was lost because of the failure of the most irresponsible investigating officer to follow the rules.
Balamurugan, 44, was arrested on Feb 6 this year and brought to court for a remand order the following day. The magistrate rejected the remand order but the police did not release Balamurugan. Police personnel found him dead in the early hours of Feb 8 at North Klang Police headquarters
The Malaysian Human Rights Commission has said there are concerns that the police had breached the standard operating procedure by, among other things, keeping Balamurugan in the lock-up instead of providing him medical treatment when he was visibly ill.

According to my colleague, MP for Klang Charles Santiago, since 2000, 242 people walked into police lock-ups alive but left in body bags. This is according to Malaysia's National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).S Balamurugan is number 243.

This is most shocking and totally unacceptable. Yet today it is most disappointing that the Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and the Cabinet have maintained their “elegant silence” when they should have expressed their utmost immediate outrage and concern.
A responsible Cabinet cannot and must not treat the police custodial deaths as trivial matters. Every human life is important and is not a mere statistic when a life is lost.
The Cabinet should come up with urgent response to end criminal custodial deaths.
We will continue to raise for the urgent setting up of IPCMC when Parliament reconvenes on 6th march 2017
It must exercise the political will to set up the much delayed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). 

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