Monday, September 14, 2009

Malaysian Police Brutality Record

This morning, as I was reading one of the popular English newspaper in Sarawak, I noticed the picturer of YB Chong the Bandar Kuching MP with a youth whose face was seen with bruises in home section of the said newspaper. As I read further, my blood was boiling with anger. How could the police whose duties were to protecting citizens done such brutality. According to the newspaper report, on Saturday, 12th September 2009, a youth was punched and slapped several times by the policemen stationed at Kuching International Airport (KIA) before he was sent to Siburan Police Station for detention. And the next day, upon his released from Siburan Police station, accompanied by his parents, he went to the police station to make a police report but the police station refused to record his statements. His statement was only taken by the police when he came to the police station but this time he was accompanied by YB Chong Police brutality is normal in Malaysia. Remember about Alantuya murder, a former mistress of Razak Baginda? She was murdered by two members of the Malaysian police special Branch who were the PM’s aide-de-camp. Her body was blown to bits in a secondary forest in the outskirt of Kuala Lumpur in 2006 by the use of C4 explosive. Both of the murderers were sentenced to death penalty. The latest high profile police brutality incident in Malaysia was recorded in January 2008 when a suspect car theft name Kugan was found dead while in police custody. The incident not only enraged the Indian communities but also angered majority of the Malaysian populations.
Kugan's Death ...An example of Police Brutality.
Police brutality is a form of police misconduct in which officers engage in an excessive use of force. The definition of “excessive use of force” is a bit fluid, but it is generally taken to mean force well beyond what would be necessary to cope with a situation. For example, a police officer who beat a nonviolent protester with a baton would probably be accused of excessive use of force, under the argument that the officer probably could have dealt with the situation much less violently. The Top Malaysian Police Brutality In Malaysia, the most popular police brutality was involved Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI) and Tan Sri Rahim who was then the Inspector General of Police (IGP). In 1998 incident, DSAI was beaten while in police custody by the then IGP Tan Sri Rahim Noor and suffered injuries including on his left eye which has since been referred to the infamous ‘black-eye’ incident. Tan Sri Rahim Noor, later admitted he had assaulted Anwar following a Royal Commission of Inquiry probe in 1999. And on 16 March 2000 Tan Sri Rahim Noor was sentenced to a two moths’ jail and fined the maximum RM 2,000 . Police Brutality Record In Malaysia Since 1993 until June 2002 Since 1993 until June 2002, Malaysia Human Right Commission (Or known as SUHAKAM) recorded a total of 50 cases of Police brutality against the suspects or witnesses. Some of the police brutality recorded by SUHAKAM are :- 1. POLICE ASSAULT AND BRUTALITY ON MY BROTHER Thiyarajan A/L Ratnam Nric no. 6082614 was arrested and assaulted by the police. Due to the serious assault, he was unconscious. Medical officer said that he was suffering from head and chest injuries and he was in serious condition. He may be recover or otherwise. Police Report Ref: No 3630/93 At Raub Police Station At 8.30 Pm 19/7/93 2. POLICEMEN BELTED ME, YOUTH TELLS COURT Petaling Jaya - One of the three youths tentatively charged with causing he death of a waiter and a cashier tow years ago, told a magistrate's court that he was beaten up by policemen after being arrested. He was punched in the face and beaten with a pipe and a belt and he was handcuffed throughout the beating. New Sunday Times, July 24 1994 3. ACCUSED: I WAS HIT AND DECEIVED Themerloh - Juraimai Husin, the first accused in the trial into the murder of former state Assemblyman for Batu Talam, Datuk Mazlan Idris told the High Court that he was assaulted and deceived by the police into giving the cautioned statement in connection with the murder.
New Straits Times, October 22 1994
4. EX-TRADER'S COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICE Ipoh - Police will look into the complaint of retired businessman Wong Kok Chong, 54, who alleged that he was badly treated while undergoing a week long detention in a police lock-up for suspected theft.
New Straits Times, May 4 1996 5. SEX CASE: WOMAN SAYS SHE IS NOT AN ACTRESS Kuala Lumpur - A 21 year old woman testifying in a sex-for-hire case said when she returned to the lock-up from the hospital, she was beaten by the police. She said Superintendent Shamsiah Mohd Yusuf hit her with a book, threatened her, told her to do push-ups and sit-ups. She was remaned in a lock-up from June 27 until June 30 1995.
New Straits Times, May 17 1996 6. ACCUSED: I WAS TORTURED INTO MAKING STATEMENT Shah Alam - An accused charged with two others with murdering two pub workers four years ago told the High Court that he made a cautioned statement because he could not withstand being tortured by the police (beating, kicking and slapping).
New Straits Times, June 13 1996
7. BUSINESSMAN: I USED FIRM'S MONEY FOR SEX WITH ACTRESSES Kuala Lumpur - Mohd Khalidi Mohd Ramly 27, a witness for sex-for-hire case who was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on 107 of the charges of cheating and forgery said, he was not treated well by the police and that he was beaten up during the detention.
New Straits Times, June 26 1996
Kota Bharu - The district police suspended a policeman for duty to facilitate investigation into an allegation that he had assaulted a 15 year old student in a lock-up.
New Straits Times, March 20 1997
Johor Bahru - Police are investigating the claim by the parents of a 15 year old boy that he was allegedly hit on the head with a baton by a policeman while in police custody.
New Straits Times, December 24 1997 10. POLICE BEAT ME UP A 19 year old youth alleged he was assaulted by police during a five days remand at the Seremban police station. He alleged he was beaten by 5 policemen including an inspector.
The Malay Mail, January 16 1998 11. 15 year old school boy was beaten and then remanded in a cell meant for adults. The Malay Mail, March 12 1998 12. SON ASSAULTED WHILE IN POLICE CUSTODY Sungai Siput - A father claimed that his son and his two friends were assaulted and tortured to admit the alleged crime while under custody. New Straits Times, February 28 1998 13. PROBE ORDERED INTO BOY'S DEATH AFTER REMAND Kuching - Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Yeap Kim Seng has ordered an investigation into the death of a teenager two days after he was release from police custody. Before the incident, he was complaining of body pains. New Straits Times, February 20 1998 14. FUN NIGHT OUT TURNS UGLY FOR THREE BOYS Petaling Jaya - A night out to surf the Internet at a café ended with three boys being arrested, allegedly beaten and used as forced labour. They were put in lock-up overnight. The Sun, November 21 1998 15. NALLAKARUPPAN APPLIES FOR TRANSFER TO SUNGAI BULOH PRISON Kuala Lumpur - Datuk S Nallakaruppan applied that he be remanded at the Sungai Buloh prison. He claimed that he had been subjected to intense interrogation and verbal abuse and denied proper resting time by the police at his current place of detention. The manner and conduct of police investigations were malicious, an abuse of process and mala fide.
New Straits Times, August 6 1998 16. MUNAWAR REPORTED TO BE IN STABLE CONITION AT KLH Kuala Lumpur - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's former speechwriter, Dr Munawar Ahmad Aness is in a stable condition at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. Manawar 50 serving a six months jail sentence after admitting to a charge of allowing Anwar to sodomise him was admitted last Tuesday.
The Sun, September 29 1998 17. ANWAR: I WAS BLINDFOLDED, HANDCUFFED AND BEATEN Kuala Lumpur - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim complained to the sessions court that he was blindfolded, handcuffed and assaulted on the night of his arrest. He was also denied medical treatment for almost five days, Anwar said in a six-minute statement from the dock after judge Hasnah Mohd Hashim allowed him to make a formal complaint against the police. This came after his counsel and the prosecution engaged in an argument as to whether Anwar could be allowed to address the court his treatment during detention under the Internal Security Act since September 20.
The Sun, September 30 1998
18. ONE NIGHT IN DETENTION – TIAN CHUA SPEAK OUT New Straits Times, February 27 1999 24. PANEL: TWO COPS COVERED UP ASSAULT Kuala Lumpur - Two senior officers "assisted in covering up" the assault on former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim but action need not be taken against them, a Royal Commission of Inquiry said in its report. It said these two officer were in a very difficult position because the man who assaulted Anwar was their own No.1 boss, then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor. The Star, April 16 1999 25. POLICE PLANTED EVIDENCE IN MY BAG, SAYS 18-YEAR-OLD STUDENT Mohd Safuan, 18, who on April 30 1999 accused the authorities of Planning evidence in order to arrest him at the pro-Justice demonstration and assaulting him with a hockey stick while in police custody. Harakah, May 7 1999 26. UNDER REMAND, TIAN CHUA PROBED FOR ATTEMPTED SUICIDE Kuala Lumpur - Keadilan Vice-President, Tian Chua lodged a police report alleging that he was slapped by a policeman at the police station after he was arrested. The Star, April 16 1999 27. ACCUSED TELLS OF BEATINGS BY TWO POLICEMEN Ipoh - A goldsmith charged with murder told the High Court, he was assaulted by two policemen during interrogation until he fainted. K. Kumaresan, 24, said the policemen also threatened to harm his family if he did not sign prepared statements. He said he was punched, kicked and beatings and it were carried out in front of Asp Harith Kam Abdullah, who was in charge of interrogations.
The Sun, April 17 1999 28. ANWAR’S WRIT OF SUMMONS SERVED Kuala Lumpur - The write of summons filed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against the Home Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor and the Government seeking damages for injuries inflicted on him while he was in police custody was served through the Attorney-General’s Chambers. Lawyer Karpal Singh, who is representing Anwar, said the AG’s Chambers had accepted service on behalf of all the three defendants.
New Straits Times, January 14 1999 29. CAUTIONED STATEMENT WAS GIVEN VOLUNTARY Kuala Lumpur - A police officer told the Magistrate's Court that he did not induce, threaten or force an accused in an unlawful assembly case to make a cautioned statement. Noridah Mohd Yassin told the court that she had been beaten on her waist, thighs and calves when she was arrested in 1998. "I felt very frightened at that time. I was even more frightened when I was taken to the city police headquarters in a police truck. I was afraid if I did not make the cautioned statement I would be found guilty and sent to prison", she said.
New Straits Times, February 26 1999 30. FORMER ISA DETAINEE FILES RM3 OM SUIT Kuala Lumpur - Former PAS Youth Secretary Abdul Malek Hussin filed a RM30 million civil suit against the police for infringing on the basic rights and assaulting him while detained under Internal Security Act. Malek who was detained for 57 days from September 25 to November 21 1998, filed the suit against police officer Assistant Superintendent Borhan Daud, the Inspector-General of Police and the Government of Malaysia.
New Straits Times, March 17 1998
31. COURT TOLD OF ACCUSED BEING TEASED, RIDICULED WHILE MAKING STATEMENT Kuala Lumpur - An accused in an unlawful assembly case was teased and ridiculed by several policemen while making a cautioned statement, the magistrate court was told. "I was very frightened under tremendous pressure and felt humiliated", Abdul Razak Taharin said. Abdul Razak testified that he also did not voluntary make the statement. New Straits Times, April 29 1999 32. POLICE FORCED ME TO PARADE IN THE NUDE. Kuala Lumpur - Wed: Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja today gave extensive evidence about his treatment at the hands of the police, saying he was handcuffed and forced to parade naked during interrogation… NST, Thursday, July 1, 1999 33. WITNESS: I WAS BEATEN WHILE IN DETENTION CAMP. Kuala Lumpur - Wed: A Bangladeshi ex-detainee of the Tanah Merah immigration camp told the magistrate’s court today that he was beaten repeatedly by police officers while in detention… NST, Thursday January 20, 2000, page 12 34. SCHOOLBOY SUES POLICE OVER CUSTODIAL TORTURE. Vicknesvaran comes to court with leg in a cast. Alor Star - Mon: A Form Three student, who arrived at the High Court with his leg in a ast today, has filed a RM 407,000 suit against the police claiming that he was beaten and tortured while he was in custody… NST, Tuesday, April 11, 2000, page 6 35. COPS SHOT ME IN THE EYE, SAYS MAN. Petaling Jaya - Sun: How Soon Hock , 24, claims police officer blinded his right eye by playing Russia roulette with him, and later tried to cover it up by asking him to lie to a doctor about the nature of his wounds… The Sun, Monday, October 16, 2000, page 7 36. THAI TOURIST CLAIMS MOLEST BY COPS. They deliberately grazed my breasts and buttocks in the lock-up, says 20-year-old. Klang - Sun: A 20-year-old tourist from Thailand said today that she was molested and mistreated by policemen while being detained in the police lock-up in Port Klang… The Sun, Monday, November 13, 2000, page 7 37. MECHANIC ALLEGES POLICE TORTURE, He claims Jasin Police refused to accept report he was pinched with pliers. Malacca - Tue: A 26-year-old mechanic from Jasin says he was tortured by police during interrogation in connection with a theft case at an estate where he works as a workshop foreman... The Sun, Wednesday, November 15, 2000, page 16 38. KEADILAN REPORTS POLICE RUTALITY Klang - Fri: Six Parti Keadilan Malaysia members today lodged a police report alleging that they sustained bodily injuries after being assaulted by police when they were arrested on Nov 5 during the unlawful assembly at Jalan Kebun here… NST, Saturday, November 18, 2000, page 6. 39. CONTRATOR: I WAS SHOT AND ABUSED BY POLICEMEN. Alor Star - Sun: A 20-year-old contractor today described how he was allegedly shot and abused by three policemen in Langkawi in 1998… NST, Monday, December 4, 2000, page 6 40. I WAS ASSAULTED BY COPS, SAY EX-STATE FOOTBALLER Penang - Mon: A former state footballer told a Sessions Court here today that a policemen slapped, punched and hit his ear with a helmet before be was handcuffed and placed in a police station lock-up for several hours…
The Sun, December 12, 2000, page 18 41. I SAW COP KICK OWMAN: WITNESS Kuala Lumpur - Tues: A witness told the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) open inquiry today that he saw a police officer yank the headscarf off a woman’s head a proceed to kick her during the Nov 5 illegal assembly at Jalan Kebun, Klang
The Sun, Wednesday, Dec 13, 2000, page 8
42. COPS BEAT ME A businessman alleges he was threatened at gun point and beaten when he tried to break up a quarrel at a disco. He went to the police station to make a report and claimed he was punched and kicked again. He was remanded for ten days…
The Malay Mail, Sunday, 28 January, 2001, page 1 43. 61-YEAR-OLD PETTY TRADER CLAIMS TORTURE WHILE IN POLICE CUSTODY Bukit Mertajam - Fri: A 61-year-old petty trader lodged a report today, claiming that police beat and tortured him when he was detained on suspicion of house-breaking…
The Sun, Saturday, February 17, 2001, page 12
44. NO NUDE SQUATTING DONE, SAY POLICE. Body search conducted to ensure no prohibited were brought into lock-up, inquiry told. Kuala Lumpur - Fir: A woman detainee was never asked to perform the "squatting exercise" naked, a police constable told the Malaysia Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) public inquiry today… The Sun, Saturday, March 10, 2001, page 8 45. COP: MURDER ACCUSED WAS NOT BEATEN UP. Shah Alam - Thurs: A police officer denied in the High Court here today that a bus driver charged with the rape and murder of a computer engineer was beaten by two police detectives until he fainted and bled before his caution statement was recorded... The Sun, Friday, August 10, 2001, page 15 46. PROBE ON DRIVER’S CLAIMS OF ABUSE IN POLICE LOCK-UP.
Malacca - State police are investigating complaints from a trailer driver who was allegedly forced to drink his own urine and had crushed chilli padi rubbed on his private part while under detention at the Jasin police lock-up…
The Star, Friday, February, 1, 2002 page 3 47. POLICE INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS BY REMAND SUSPECT. Malacca - Thurs: Police have started investigating allegations by a remand suspect that he was mistreated while being held in a lock-up in Jasin… The Sun, Friday, February 1, 2002, page 6 48. WHY NO FEMALE SENTRY IN AMPANG LOCK-UP, Probe into rape allegations: A Police probe is on to find out why there was no female sentry at the Ampang lock-up where two women detainees were allegedly raped by a male constable… The Malay Mail, Friday, March 1, 2002, page 2 49. COUSEL: SUSPECT WENT THROUGH HELL WHILE IN CUSTODY. Penang - A suspect had a "horrendous experience" while in police custody when molten wax was dripped onto his private part and newspapers shoved into his mouth, a Sessions Court heard yesterday. Counsel K. Simon Murali submitted that the hotel assistant housekeeper A. Vijayan, 33, was not only beaten up but also abused in a cruel manner… The Star, Saturday, June 29, 2002, page 14 Is there Any Law That Addresses Police Brutality Several nations around the world have laws which specifically address police brutality. Under these laws, complaints about excessive use of force must be taken seriously, and investigated by a commission or District Attorney. In fact, as human rights organizations have discovered, many complaints about excessive use of force by police officers are not investigated, and if they are, the finding is usually that the police officer acted appropriately. Only rarely are police subjected to disciplinary action as a result of an investigation. In Malaysia, other than Tan Sri Rahim, I have no heard any policemen being prosecuted due to their brutalities.Many believed that the failure to prevent and act upon police brutality is probably related to the insular culture of police forces. Because police are authorized and in fact expected to use force when necessary, some investigations also find it difficult to fault an officer for acting aggressively in a policing situation. Situations on the street can change rapidly and they are difficult to control, making it easy to justify a use of force which might seem excessive. Some police forces now routinely record all interactions with civilians so that these records can be reviewed in the event of an investigation.In many societies, police brutality and profiling of minorities are closely intertwined. Members of the dominant race, religion, class, or ethnic group are, for the most part, treated with respect by the police, while minorities may find themselves targeted by police officers. The same scenario is experienced by the Indian community in Malaysia. See the letter from HINDRAF here.
Based on SUHAKAM record above, most of the brutality committed by the Malaysian Police were done to get the information or to force the accused person to confess to the crime, or in the case of innocent person to force him/her to confess to the crime that he/she had never done- which aim to close their investigation at shortest time possible! The police must make a reform especially in their interrogation method. The Malaysian Police's interrogation techniques date back to British colonial times. The techniques can be described in three ways. First, coercion, using physical force to make a person submit and confess to false things. Second is persuasion. There will be two faces of the interrogators, one soft and kind, and the other a brutal one. Third is deception. For example, 'If you tell us what you have, or confess, you can be released'. But often, after agreeing to "confess," one will simply be tossed back in jail with the person coerced confession used against her/him.
Malaysian Police must stop brutality and inhumane treatment against your fellow malaysians!
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