Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser, 19 July 2019

While it is good to see a bill for the establishment of the long-awaited Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) on the parliamentary agenda, it seems to miss the wood for the trees! Practically the entire bill is taken up with all manner of police misconduct while deaths in custody is only dealt with casually under “Part VIII: Miscellaneous:



Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser, 3 May 2019

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun has been quoted as saying that the police force does not want to hand over the power to take disciplinary action against its personnel to the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). He added that:

“The IPCMC wants to take over the powers of the Police Commission (SPP) under Article140 of the Federal Constitution on issues regarding disciplinary action and investigations.


IGP Must Tackle Death in Custody Immediately or Step Down!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the death of Benedict A/L Thanilas in Jinjang Detention Centre on 10 July 2017.

Benedict A/L Thanilas was 44 years old and was detained for investigation under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985. He was unconscious when he was brought to the hospital 6.06AM in the morning. At the time of the family’s arrival at the hospital at around 10AM in the morning, they were informed that Benedict had passed away.

The death of Mr. Benedict marks the 9th known case of death in custody in 2017 and 7th known death in police detention for 2017. His death is also the first known case of death during detention without trial under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985.

Death in custody is the gravest human rights violation a state can inflict upon any individual and their family. The deprivation of life without the due process of the law violates all known international law and human rights principles and it is a direct violations of individual rights under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

Furthermore, the court has ruled in the case of P. Chandran that the health of detainees while they are under detention by the police is the full responsibility of the Royal Malaysian Police. This is in-line with the international standards outlined in the Nelson Mandela Rules and it is an international standard that cannot be dismissed by the enforcement agency on a whim.

In light of the unabated cases of death in custody in the recent months, SUARAM calls for the resignation of the Inspector-General of Police for his poor track record in mishandling cases of death in police custody and the repeated failure in preventing and mitigating the issue of torture and death in police custody.

SUARAM reiterate our demand for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to investigate into possible misconduct by the Royal Malaysian Police and for a transparent investigation to take place immediately. The police officers responsible for the well-being of the detainee must also be suspended pending the said investigation.

In Solidarity

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director


IGP Wajib Menangani Kes Kematian Dalam Tahanan Dengan Segera atau Letak Jawatan!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) mengecam kematian Benedict A/L Thanilas di Pusat Tahanan Jinjang pada 10 Julai 2017.

Benedict A/L Thanilas yang berumur 44 tahun telah ditahan untuk siasatan di bawah Akta Dadah Berbahaya (Langkah-Langkah Pencegahan Khas) 1985. Beliau dalam keadaan tidak sedarkan diri semasa beliau dibawa ke hospital pada jam 6.06 pagi. Semasa keluarga tiba di hospital pada jam 10 pagi, Isteri beliau dimaklumkan bahawa beliau telahpun meninggal dunia.

Kematian Encik Benedict merupakan kes kematian dalam tahanan ke-9 yang berlaku dalam tahun 2017 dan kes kematian ‘dalam tahanan polis’ ke-7 bagi tahun 2017. Kematiannya juga merupakan kes yang pertama yang direkodkan dimana seorang tahanan meninggal dunia dibawah akta tahan tanpa perbicaraan, Akta Dadah Berbahaya (Langkah-Langkah Pencegahan Khas) 1985.

Kematian dalam tahanan ialah satu pencabulan hak asasi manusia yang serius. Kegagalan pihak berkuasa untuk mencegah isu kematian dalam tahanan merupakan satu kesalahan di sisi undang-undang antarabangsa dan bertentangan dengan prinsip-prinsip hak asasi manusia. Ianya juga merupakan pencabulan hak individu yang dijamin dibawah Perkara 5 Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia.

Berkenaan dengan isu kesihatan dalam tahanan, pihak mahkamah dalam kes P. Chandran telahpun memutuskan bahawa kesihatan orang kena tahan (OKT) semasa berada dalam tahanan pihak polis ialah tanggungjawab penuh Polis Diraja Malaysia. Keputusan ini selaras dengan piawaian antarabangsa yang digariskan dalam Kaedah Nelson Mandela dan ia merupakan piawaian antarabangsa yang tidak boleh diabaikan ataupun diketepikan oleh pihak berkuasa dengan sewenang-wenangnya.

Atas sebab pihak polis berkali-kali gagal dalam melaksanakan siasatan yang telus dan seterusnya mencegah dari berlakunya kematian dalam tahanan, serta rekod buruk dalam pengendalian kes kematian dalam tahanan, SUARAM menyeru agar Ketua Polis Negara meletakkan jawatan dengan segera.

SUARAM mengulangi seruan masyarakat sivil supaya Suruhanjaya Bebas Aduan dan Salah Laku Polis (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, IPCMC) ditubuhkan segera, bagi menyiasat salah laku Polis Diraja Malaysia dan memastikan penyiasatan yang telus dijalankan. SUARAM sekali lagi menyeru supaya pegawai polis yang bertanggungjawab terhadap kejadian ini digantung kerja sementara siasatan dijalankan.

Yang Benar

Sevan Doraisamy
Pengarah Eksekutif

Death in custody perpetrator freed while witness to crime is victimised

Press Statement: 27 October 2010

SUARAM condemns the police beating and arrest of K. Selvachandran, a witness in R. Gunasegaran’s death in custody inquest. He had testified during the inquest that he saw Lance Corporal Mohd Faizal Mat Taib assaulted Gunasegaran before the suspect collapsed and died. On 25 October, the coroner’s court gave an “open verdict” into R Gunasegaran’s inquest because the cause of his death while in police custody could not be conclusively proven.

On the same day, K. Selvachandran was arrested at his home around 10pm by 5 plainclothes police officers and beaten up in front of his wife and children before he was taken away to the KL police contingent headquarters. The officers told Selvachandran’s wife, S. Saraswathy that he would be detained for 60 days, and may be extended to an additional 2 years. It should be noted that only 3 laws allow for such a long period of detention, namely the Internal Security Act, the Dangerous Drugs Act (Special Preventive Measures) and the Emergency Ordinance.

SUARAM is extremely concerned with the arrest and detention of Selvachandran – as the police seemed to be sending a strong message that they can act with impunity with no regards to the rule of law, police professionalism and the law and procedure governing their conduct. It cannot be a mere coincidence that Selvachandran was arrested so soon and further more he was detained under unspecified charges under draconian provisions that allow the police to detain a suspect without trial for up to two years. It is a blatant abuse of police power that points to police retaliation

SUARAM demands for the immediate release of Selvachandran and calls for Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar to walk the talk of his 4P (Proactive, Protective, Performance-oriented and People-oriented) plan by first curbing the culture of lawlessness and abuse of power in the police force as exemplified in the death of Gunasegaran and detention without trial of Selvachandran.

The IGP must ensure that police officers adhere to the laws and procedures that govern the arrest and detention of suspects, and they cannot act as they pleased to retaliate against a witness who testified against them. What message is being sent to other potential witnesses other than a strong warning not to testify against the police?

SUARAM also calls for the implementation of the IPCMC as recommended by the Royal Commission on the Police in 2005 to hold the police accountable over abuse of power and human rights as clearly proven time and time again; the police cannot be relied upon to investigate themselves.

Released by,

Hasbeemasputra Abu Bakar


PRESS CONFERENCE- Urgent: Witness of Gunasegaran’s death in custody inquest has been detained and beaten up

Regards to above matter, SUARAM would like to invite the press to the urgent press conference today to address the above matter. Selvarajah Khrishnan is on of the witness of the Gunasegaran (who died in police custody) case. Yesterday he was arrested by the police at his house and he has been brought to IPK KL.

Therefore, the family and SUARAM inviting the press to help to expose the issue to the public.

The details as below:

Date: 26 10 2010
Time: 2pm
Place: Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (Ground floor)

Please call Nalini at 03 7784 3525 for further info


Released by,

SUARAM coordinator