Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Penang On 9.6.2013.
Necessity Of Establishing The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Has International Relevance Following The Death Of A Japanese Detainee In Order To Gain Public Confidence That There Are No Abuses Of Power Or Torture In Custodial Deaths.
The necessity to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) has international relevance following the death of a Japanese detainee in order to gain public confidence that there are no abuses of power or torture in custodial deaths. The death of aJapanese man who was found hanged at the grille of his lock-up cell at a Subang Jaya police station early Saturday, is the fourth custodial death in 2 weeks.
This international dimension of the tragedy of custodial deaths prevalent in Malaysia has clearly tarnished Malayisa’s international reputation and smeared the image of Malaysia’s police force, new Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Selangor deputy police chief Datuk A.Thaiveegan said an autopsy report issued by the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre found that the 33-year old Japanese detainee, Nobuhiro Matsushita, died as a result of hanging and that there were no injures on his body. Whatever the cause of death, the police has to come clean on these prevalent custodial deaths and fully explain how these detainees can die either by their own hand or by the very policemen meant to protect them.
How many more must die before the tragedy of custodial deaths are stopped? Only the establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) can prevent needless custodial deaths and it would be very sad that a Japanese detainee must die in police custody before moving the BN Federal government to act. This latest fourth death in 2 weeks follows the 3 earlier deaths of:-
• Karuna Nithi’s Tampin police lock-up on 4 June,
• R James Ramesh in a Penang police lockup on May 26; and
• the brutal killing of N Dhamendran with 52 injuries, while in a KL police headquarters lockup on May 21.
The number of custodial deaths since 2000 is 219, a shocking figure that is sure to rise without any safeguards and preventive mechanism such as the IPCMC. There is no reason why the BN Federal government refuses such oversight of the police when it is recommended in 2005 by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Police.
Malaysians are shocked by the serial repetitions of custodial deaths that continue to occur despite assurances from BN Federal government Ministers that there will be safety and protection measures in place for detainees. Even former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hasan said that he had not opposed the IPCMC when he was the IGP, provided that the police had a right to appeal to courts against the decisions made by IPCMC.
Whilst some of the custodial deaths may be due to natural causes, the public will continue to have grave suspicions in police interrogation methods unless the police can assure the public that they are not only clean, but are seen to be clean. The public have lost hope in new Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who clearly lacks urgency in protecting human rights and preventing custodial deaths as well as is completely disinterested in fighting crime but is more focused on using harsh and oppressive methods to silence any political dissent to protect BN.
Only a transparent and accountable mechanism which is available by establishing the IPCMC, can restore public confidence and reassure the public that detainees in police custody will be safe. Otherwise, the public will have recurring nightmares that should any of their loved ones be placed in police custody, they may not walk out alive.
Lim Guan Eng
——BM Version —