Press Statement: 14th September 2012


 SUARAM has endlessly called upon the Royal Malaysian Police to exercise greater professionalism and accountability in upholding fundamental human rights and in its case management but it all seems to falls on deaf ears.

It is with regret to note recurring deaths in custody under the supervision of the police. Through SUARAM documentation, the figure of deaths in 2012 so far speaks little on any meaningful police reforms.

The cases, on 7th September 2012, Tienthong Chaipaniya, died at Balai Polis Taman Johor Jaya. On 10th September 2012, Chandran Perumalu, 47, died at IPD Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur. On 23rd August 2012, Lagan Dollah AK Gaong, 59, died at Balai Polis Pusat Miri. On 13th August 2012, Cheah Chin Lee, 36, died at the lockup of Jalan Patani Northeast police station. On 29th May 2012, Isparan a/l Supramaniam’s died at Sungai Siput Police station. SUARAM believes that these are only a handful of cases which was reported for public consumption.

Every individual’s right to life is guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. Article 5 provides that “…No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with the law…. Similarly, Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “…Everyone has the right to life, to be free and to feel safe…”

In a report by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Malaysia, more than 2000 deaths in custody were reported from year 2000 to 2009. It is estimated from the figures that there are at least 2 deaths in every 3 days occurring in the backyard of our police stations. According to the Lockup Rules 1958, police officer on duty has the responsibility to ensure the health of detainees and the conditions of lockup in the station. The said officer is also required to record in details every action and tasks performed on a daily basis.

The existing laws and regulations have been abused and modified to justify police misconducts beyond recognition. SUARAM strongly recommends the following; police must not be allowed to investigate their peers in cases of death in custody; an independent inquest to be automatic upon a death and expedient in case management; and the immediate implementation of  Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) for a transparent and independent probe into cases of misconducts and negligence.

Until and unless the police takes on the ‘challenge’ to be more professional and accountable, the rakyat will see no end in death statistics.


From the desk of Right to Justice,




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